Terrance Houle: GIVN’R

March 28, 2009 to May 16, 2009

Curated by Anthony Kiendl
Opening reception: March 27, 2009 – 8:00pm
Artist talk: March 28, 2009 – 3:00pm

Give’r: (Verb) Canadian, particular to rural areas, especially in the Western provinces, meaning 1.) to work very hard. 2.) to get wasted and rock as hard as possible. 3.) To finish a job or task in an efficient and quick manner.

Artist’s talk: Saturday, March 28, 3:00pm

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) presents a solo exhibition by interdisciplinary media artist Terrance Houle. This exhibition will feature a new installation, in addition select works from recent years.

For Plug In ICA, Houle will create a new installation inspired by his father’s experiences. Houle’s father spent the first part of his life on the Sandy Bay Reservation in Manitoba. Attending Residential School during the day, Vern Houle spent the rest of his time learning the traditions of the Salteaux (Ojibway) First Nations People. Leaving to join the Canadian Armed Forces at a time when Aboriginal men were not predominant in the service, he traveled across Canada, Europe, and the Middle East, writing to his mother weekly.  Offering specific insight into a young Native man’s journey and his relationship with his Ojibway mother, this work speaks of home, connections, place, and time.

Houle’s examinations of cultural identity, alienation, assimilation, and Hollywood stereotypes (not to be mistaken as necessarily autobiographical) are intended to provoke. Houle’s extensive body of work ranges from painting to drawing, video/film, mixed media, new media, performance and installation, often utilizing tools of mass dissemination such as billboards and vinyl bus signage.

Houle’s artwork has been shown across Canada, the U.S.A., Europe, and in Australia. His short video and film works have been shown internationally, winning Best Experimental Film at Toronto’s 2004 ImagineNATIVE Film Festival, and screening in New York City at the 2006 Native American Film Festival at the Museum of American Indian. In 2006 Terrance was awarded the Enbridge Emerging Artist Award at the City of Calgary Mayors Luncheon.

Involved with Aboriginal communities all his life, Houle has traveled to reservations throughout Canada and the United States to participate in Powwow dancing and other Native ceremonies. He lives and maintains his art practice and Aboriginal Youth Mentorship in Calgary, Canada.