October 9, 2020-January 16, 2021 Open Space presents LAND BACK, a group exhibition featuring the work of artists Nicole Neidhardt, Lacie Burning, Chandra Melting Tallow, and Whess Harman, curated by Eli Hirtle.
LAND BACK is many things to many people, but at the root of this project are our responsibilities to and relationships with the land, and our work to (re)connect with our territories and waterways in meaningful ways. We come from the land. Our teachings, laws, and stories come from the land. We are the land. The land is our home, our mother, our caregiver.
From the Wet’suwet’en solidarity occupations and blockades, to 1492 Land Back Lane, to the Mi’kma’ki fight to assert fishing rights, we are witnessing a heightened period of solidarity and momentum to protect our lands and waters. Through sculpture, photography, poetry, painting, and sound the participating artists will each speak to their own interpretations of LAND BACK from their unique perspectives, lived experiences, and lineages.
As Indigenous peoples, we have relationships with our plant, animal, and supernatural kin that we must uphold and respect—through these acts of presencing and reclamation, we can renew and repair these sacred bonds that have been ruptured in a myriad of ways by the settler-colonial project that is Canada. LAND BACK is a demand for the return of jurisdiction over our lands and waters, and an assertion of this responsibility. It is not theoretical or metaphorical. It is a rallying cry to protect the lands and waters that took care of our ancestors, sustain us today, and that will nurture the generations to come.
To accommodate the realities of the pandemic, each artist will install their work one at a time, unfolding the exhibition over the coming months. As they do so, their work calls to the ever-changing, fluid, and responsive nature of land-defense occupations and blockades, where bodies come and go in waves as needed.
The artists' work will be installed by eaching of the following dates:
The exhibition will be presented in person and online through a dedicated website launching mid-October, as well as a publication to be released in 2021. Stay tuned for a comprehensive calendar of associated programming.
Gallery hours: 12-4pm Weds-Sat
In order to help curb the spread of COVID-19 under the guidance of the province of BC and Island Health Authorities, we ask the following:
- If you have had symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 10 days, please do not enter Open Space, and self-isolate at home. Symptoms include fever, chills, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and new muscle aches or headache.
- If you are under the direction of a provincial health officer to self-isolate, please follow those instructions.
- If you have recently arrived from outside of Canada, please self-isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.
- Unless you are unable to do so for health reasons, please wear a face mask at all times while visiting Open Space. If you require one, a disposable non-medical face mask will be provided.
- Hand sanitizer is available as you enter the gallery; please use it upon entry.
- Please follow entrance and exit directions and signage and maintain 2 metres of physical distance between you and others outside of your immediate group.
- Bathrooms are available for visitors to the gallery with an occupancy limit of one person at a time.
- There will be a limit of 10 gallery visitors at one time.
Please talk to the gallery sitter at the entrance if you have any questions or concerns.