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Fire, Sacred Fire

Peter Morin

The last time I saw Peter Morin in person he handed me a small animal hide rattle and instructed me to make some noise. What can be accomplished by shaking a rattle and shouting? How about undoing the effects of hundreds of years of colonial violence? The venue for the rattle shaking was the Vancouver Art Gallery, a former provincial courthouse that oversaw laws that disenfranchised Indigenous peoples, Black folks, Asian folks, Queer folks, and women, and criminalized their culture(s), languages, and how they raised their children. Morin, with his collaborator Ayumi Goto, and curator Tara Hogue, organized the usually subdued art-opening crowd into a raucous group of sacred messengers, challenging us to make enough noise to wake the ancestors and invite them back into that space. And wake them we did. For those willing to see, a crackling brightness attended the remainder of the opening as the spirits of those that once experienced harm were welcomed and given comfort.The crackle and light have now left the log in Fire, Sacred Fire. As Morin puts it, “its transformation into warmth and medicine at the expense of its physicality” is done and the sweat lodge stones it heated have long since gone cold. So where is the sacred fire? Perhaps in the dance of pixels on a screen, a dematerialized digital transmission where once again the logs physicality is lost as it becomes a new medicine. Is it sacred? Perhaps, for those willing to see.

Peter Morin is a grandson of Tahltan ancestor artists. Morin’s work highlights cross-ancestral collaboration and deeply considers the impact zones that occur between Indigenous ways of knowing and Western Settler Colonialism. Morin’s practice has spanned twenty years so far, with exhibitions in London, Berlin, Singapore, New Zealand, and Greenland, as well as across Canada and the United States. Morin currently holds a tenured appointment in the Faculty of Arts at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto.

Charles Campbell is a Jamaican born multidisciplinary artist, writer and curator. He has exhibited throughout North America, the Caribbean and Europe, representing Jamaica and Canada in events such as the Havana Biennial;Infinite Islands: Contemporary Caribbean Art, held at the Brooklyn Museum; Wrestling With the Image: Caribbean Interventions, held at the Art Museum of the Americas and Contemporary Jamaican Art, circa1962 | circa2012, held at the Art Gallery of Mississauga. Campbell has written for Frieze Magazine and is also a regular contributor to ARC Magazine, a Caribbean arts journal.

Notes for Tomorrow is a traveling exhibition organized and produced by Independent Curators International (ICI) and initiated by Frances Wu Giarratano, Jordan Jones, Becky Nahom, Renaud Proch, and Monica Terrero. The exhibition was made possible with the generous support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, VIA Art Fund and ICI’s Board of Trustees and International Forum.

We are on Treaty 1 Territory. Plug In ICA is located on the territories of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation. Our water is sourced from Shoal Lake 40 First Nation.

Plug In ICA extends our heartfelt gratitude to our generous donors, valued members, and dedicated volunteers. We acknowledge the sustaining support of our Director’s Circle. You all make a difference.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We could not operate without their continued financial investment and lobbying efforts.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all, and enable us to continue to present excellent programs. Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at or by contacting Erin at

For more information on public programming and exhibitions contact Allison Yearwood at

For general information, please contact: or call 1.204.942.1043