Grace: A Survey
June 15 - August 30, 2018
College Art Galleries
Leah Taylor, curator
Grace is a complex survey of work by interdisciplinary artist Lori Blondeau. The exhibition traces Blondeau’s prolific career, from her seminal early performances to the recent series Asiniy Iskwew.
Deconstructing the contentious history of colonization in Canada, Blondeau’s methodologies of Indigenous storytelling have created a contemporized archive, primarily referencing personal and familial experiences. Her iconic performance personas range from Betty Daybird and “Indian Princess” to Lonely Surfer Squaw and COSMOSQUAW, each problematizing issues around history and identity. Blondeau re-appropriates dominant stereotypes and images from popular culture as a way to decolonize from the repression and consumption of Indigenous female identities. By reclaiming this imagery from the colonial gaze, Blondeau points to the racism, trauma and violence endured by Indigenous women. As scholar Carla Taunton wrote, “Blondeau’s use of her body as her art practice asserts and claims spaces and sights of Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination, connecting histories of exclusion with contemporary moments of resistance.”
Comprised of performance, photography, installation and video, Grace celebrates Blondeau’s enduring legacy and continued influence in contemporary art.
Carla Taunton, “Embodying Sovereignty: Indigenous Women’s Performance Art in Canada,” ed. Narratives Unfolding: National Art Histories in an Unfinished World (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017), 341.
About the Artist
Lori Blondeau is Cree/Saulteaux/Metis and is a member of George Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada. Lori Blondeau holds an MFA from the University of Saskatchewan and apprenticed with James Luna from 1998-2001. Blondeau is a co-founder of TRIBE Inc. She has exhibited and performed nationally and internationally.