Joar Nango


Joar Nango in collaboration with Douglas Thomas and 2019 Summer Institute participants (Lorraine Albert, Carrie Allison, Albyn Carias, Julie Gendron, Alicia Marie Lawrence, David Peters, and Evan Taylor), Uncle Doug’s Fishing Shack

Installation from found materials

Architect, builder, artist, and self-publisher Joar Nango’s work often dismantles traditional divisions established between design, architecture, and visual art by intertwining each discipline with methods and processes lead by improvisation. Belonging to the indigenous peoples from Sápmi, the traditional territories of Sámi, Nango highlights the improvisational disposition of indigenous communities like his, where the climate is merciless and resources are scarce. As such, Nango’s sculptural practice is stirred by chance, experimentation with localized raw materials, DIY aesthetics, and an in-tuned relationship to place. He creates actions and interventions; makeshift as well as permanent ones, that ultimately add up to our knowledge and connectedness to the environment we stand and thrive on.

Nango’s project for STAGES is created within methodological traditions of improvisation and bricolage using found materials and a response to the natural and architectural environment. On the artist’s selected site in Whittier Park rests the dismantled and rotting former doors of the remodelled historic Fort Gibraltar which sits less than 20 meters to the west. The history of the Fort is one that is conflicted with the pioneering colonialization of Europeans and the establishment of the Metis nation, beginning in the late 1700s. The Fort was established as a fur trade headquarters for the North West Company, a principal rival to the Hudson Bay Company. It was relocated from its original settlement at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine river and rebuilt in the late 1970s as a tourist site in its current location in St. Boniface. Using the now retired gates from the re-imagined 20th century fort, Nango will build provisional sculptural and architectural forms that use elements of the site and it surrounding.

A long proponent of printed matter and its political potential to mobilize larger social transformations, Nango along with collaborators have fulfilled publication projects including The Indigenuity Project, The Normadic Library and the self-published zine series Sámi Huksendáidda: the Fanzine. Nango has been part of a number of exhibition projects throughout Canada and elsewhere. Among which includes, SAW gallery, Ottawa; Vancouver’s Western Front; Gallery Deluxe, Halifax; The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design,Oslo; and Sydhavn Station, Copenhagen. He recently presented European Everything at Documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel in 2017. Nango is a founding member of the group FFB, an architectural collaboration that works with resistance and dissent through temporary public events and installations.

Location: Whittier Park, East side of Fort Gibraltar – 866 Rue Saint Joseph.
Hours: 24 hour access
Additional information: Installation site is behind Maison Chazboillez in Whittier Park; the pathway is not paved; public washrooms on-site.

Image caption: detail of location