Installation view at Plug In ICA Skeena Reece: Sweetgrass and Honey. Photo: Karen Asher.

Curatorial Tour of Skeena Reece:
Sweetgrass and Honey with Jenifer Papararo

February 24, 2018 – 3am
Plug In ICA | 460 Portage Ave, Winnipeg MB

On Saturday, February 24 at 3pm, Jenifer Papararo, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art’s Executive Director and curator of Skeena Reece:Sweetgrass and Honey  will give a guided tour of the exhibition.

Skeena Reece is best-known for her critically penetrating and humourous performances, in which she portrays a range of personas that are often driven by the potential of a raw exchange with audiences. For her solo exhibition Sweetgrass and Honey, she builds on her lexicon of characters at times ramping up the clichés and emboldening stereo-types while sincerely trying to unearth their origins and stonewall their continued perpetuation. From Stockholm Syndrome to Indian Princesses, Reece uses various subjects in building a new lens with which to examine her personal history within a rereading of the displacement and continued disregard of Indigenous people in North America.

Sweetgrass and Honey is a survey of sorts, recontextualizing some of Reece’s earlier works, showing out-takes from a 2005 video An Indian Guide: Self Preservation and animating the photo shoot from We Still Know, 2007. Even the exhibition title is pulled from her debut folk music album released in 2011. This revisiting is in constant motion as a series of exposes, demonstrating Reece’s artistic processes as well as sharpening the focus on her layered but direct subject; her process being one of structured improvisation and intimate collaboration. And her subject formed by the outlines of the long, reoccurring and transmuting effects of colonization while effacing racial stereotypes used to relegate Indigenous culture into the past.

Skeena Reece is a Tsimshian/Gitksan and Cree artist based on the West Coast of British Columbia. She has garnered national and international attention most notably for Raven: On the Colonial Fleet (2010) her bold installation and performance work presented as part of the celebrated group exhibition Beat Nation. Her multidisciplinary practice includes performance art, spoken word, humor, “sacred clowning,” writing, singing, songwriting, video and visual art. She studied media arts at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, and was the recipient of the British Columbia award for Excellence in the Arts (2012) and The Viva Award (2014). For her work on Savage (2010)in collaboration with Lisa Jackson, Reece won a Genie Award for Best Short Film, Golden Sheaf Award for Best Multicultural Film, ReelWorld Outstanding Canadian Short Film, Leo Awards for Best Actress and Best Editing. She participated in the 17th Sydney Biennale, Australia. Recent exhibitions include, The Sacred Clown & Other Strangers (2015) a solo exhibition of her performance costumes and documentation at Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art, Winnipeg and Moss at Oboro Gallery, Montreal (2017). An iteration of Sweetgrass and Honey will travel to the Comox Valley Art Gallery.

Parts of Sweetgrass and Honey were produced in collaboration with Oboro, Montreal and exhibited as part of the exhibition Moss.

Plug In ICA gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We extend gratitude to our Director’s Circle, valued members and dedicated volunteers.