Video: Discussion with Un/spoken Filmmakers | Moderated by Mariana Muñoz Gomez and Marie-Anne Redhead | Sovereign Intimacies
On Monday, November 9 at 7pm CT Plug In ICA was pleased to present an online gathering beginning with an introduction by Sovereign Intimacies curators Nasrin Himada and Jennifer Smith before screening program curators Mariana Muñoz Gomez and Marie-Anne Redhead engaged in conversation with filmmakers Marissa Sean Cruz and Léuli Eshrāghi.
Un/spoken was presented in partnership with Gallery 1C03 and Video Pool Media Arts Centre as part of, Sovereign Intimacies. Un/spoken wove together work by Indigenous artists and racialized artists in diaspora from all over the world. It featured works by Sebastien Aubin, Marissa Sean Cruz, Léuli Eshrāghi, Sky Hopinka, Francisco Huichaqueo, and Karin Lee.
Each short film or video work took up the theme of relationships; relationships to each other, to culture and language, to place, to the land, to nonhuman beings, to ourselves. Sometimes these relationships are fraught with fragmentation, dislocation and disappearances due to processes of colonialism, imperialism and ecological devastation. These films encouraged us to explore the ways we relate to each other, to our worlds, to our histories and ways of being.
All were invited to view this free screening from November 5 – 18, 2020 on the online cinema venue, VUCAVU.
With a Bachelors of Fine Arts (major in Graphic Design) from the University of Québec, Sébastien Aubin has worked for Kolegram, one of the most prestigious graphic design studios in Québec, and has since shaped his professional career as a freelance graphic artist. Aubin has designed publications for numerous artists, organizations and art galleries in Winnipeg, Montréal and Ottawa, including Plug In ICA Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years, Terrance Houle, KC Adams, Carleton University Art Gallery, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, and Art Gallery of South Western Manitoba. Aubin is one of the founding members of the ITWÉ collective that is dedicated to research, creation, production and education of Aboriginal digital culture. Currently based in Montréal, QC, Sébastien Aubin is a proud member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba.
Dr. Léuli Eshrāghi (Sāmoan, Persian, Cantonese) works across visual arts, curatorial practice and university research. Ia intervenes in display territories to centre Indigenous kin constellations, sensual and spoken languages, and ceremonial-political practices. Through performance, moving image, writing and installation, ia engages with Indigenous futurities as haunted by ongoing militourist and missionary violences that once erased faʻafafine-faʻatama from kinship and knowledge structures. Ia contributes to growing international critical practice across the Great Ocean and North America through residencies, exhibitions, publications, teaching and rights advocacy. Eshrāghi is a board secretary of the Indigenous Curatorial Collective, the inaugural Horizon/Indigenous Futures postdoctoral fellow at Concordia University, a member of The Space Between Us SSHRC research partnership (2020-28) led by Dr Julie Nagam, an affiliate member of the Wominjeka Djeebana research lab at Monash University led by Dr Brian Martin, and a member of the Asia Pacific Artistic Research Network led by Dr Danny Butt at University of Melbourne and Kurniawan Adi Saputro at Indonesian Institute of the Arts Yogyakarta.
Marissa Sean Cruz is an interdisciplinary artist based in K’jipuktuk (Halifax) with a focus in video and digital arts. As a biracial Filipinx, Cruz’s work negotiates a layered socioracial identity in sculptural confrontations, conceptual systems and prop-comedy performances. Her work has been displayed in venues like Xpace, Studio 303, Studio Rialto, Galerie VAV Gallery, ThirdSpace and START gallery and distributed digitally through spaces like the Centre for Art and Thought, North Fork Arts Projects, Public Parking and the Roundtable Residency.
Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians) was born and raised in Ferndale, Washington and spent a number of years in Palm Springs and Riverside, California, Portland, Oregon, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In Portland he studied and taught chinuk wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin. His video, photo, and text work centers around personal positions of Indigenous homeland and landscape, designs of language as containers of culture expressed through personal, documentary, and non-fiction forms of media. He received his BA from Portland State University in Liberal Arts and his MFA in Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and currently teaches at Bard College in Film and Electronic Arts.
Hopinka’s work has played at various festivals including ImagineNATIVE Media + Arts Festival, Images, Wavelengths, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Sundance, and Projections. His work was a part of the 2016 Wisconsin Triennial and the 2017 Whitney Biennial and the 2018 FRONT Triennial. He was a guest curator at the 2019 Whitney Biennial and was a part of Cosmopolis #2 at the Centre Pompidou. He was awarded jury prizes at the Onion City Film Festival, the More with Less Award at the 2016 Images Festival, the Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker at the 54th Ann Arbor Film Festival, the New Cinema Award at the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival and the Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowship for Individual Artists in the Emerging artist category for 2018. He was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University in 2018- 2019, a Sundance Art of Nonfiction Fellow for 2019, a recipient of an Alpert Award for Film/Video, and is a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow.
Francisco Huichaqueo (Mapuche) studied documentary filmmaking at the Escuela de Cine de Chile. In addition to being a filmmaker, Francisco is a curator of video art, animation and experimental films and currently teaches animation and experimental video at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago.
Karin Lee 李嘉慈 is a media artist whose films, installations and writing spans over two decades, with fiction and non-fiction films reflecting the contemporary issues of our day as well as the themes of the Asian diaspora, women, gender, identity and sexuality. Her solo show at the Sum Gallery in Vancouver’s Art in Pride Society, was the inaugural exhibition in Vancouver. As a filmmaker, Karin co-produced Cedar and Bamboo, a documentary about children of Chinese and First Nations parents, wrote, directed and produced the web series Plan B, a dark comedic drama about an abortion clinic, and is currently in post-production for Girl with Big Feet (Ts’ekoo Cha Ke), a period drama. A fourth generation Canadian, Karin was born, raised and is based in Vancouver, B.C. Canada.
Mariana Muñoz Gomez is an emerging artist, writer, and curator. She is a settler of colour based on Treaty 1 territory in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her work is concerned with language, representation, diaspora, displacement and identity within post- and settler colonial contexts. She is a coeditor of Carnation Zine and co-curator at window winnipeg. Mariana recently completed a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies: Curatorial Practices at the University of Winnipeg.
Marie-Anne Redhead is Ininiw and francophone, as well as an emerging curator, writer and member of Fox Lake Cree Nation. She is currently completing her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree at the University of Winnipeg with the intent to pursue an MA in the curatorial stream of the Cultural Studies program. Through her research and creative practice, she is interested in decolonial art forms, contemporary Indigenous art, futurisms, language, and relationship-based identities.
Sovereign Intimacies was a group exhibition co-curated by Nasrin Himada and Jennifer Smith, in partnership with Gallery 1C03, with support from Video Pool Media Arts Centre. The exhibition took place at Plug In ICA from September 26 – December 20, 2020, with extensive programming that consisted of online talks, workshops, screenings, and poetry readings. Sovereign Intimacies explored themes of cultural and community exchange between Indigenous artists and artists from the diaspora, more specifically artists who are First Nations, Inuit and Métis collaborating with artists living in what is currently called Canada who came to this land and are not part of the settler/colonial history of the country. The group show consisted of pairings of artists, as well as individuals, whose work is based on process and relationship building, and for those whose work is invested in active conceptualization around topics of friendship and intimacy, who are working to build collective vision of a sovereign future.