biskaabiiyang (returning to ourselves) is a group exhibition investigating Indigenous Futurisms and the interconnectedness of nows through video installation, interactive gaming, mixed media and digital illustrations curated by Emerging Curators Institute Fellow, Juleana Enright.
Featured artists: Santo Aveiro-Ojeda, Sequoia Hauck, Reyna Hernandez, Elizabeth LaPensée, Coyote Park, and Summer-Harmony Twenish.
Biskaabiiyang is an Anishinaabeg word meaning the enactment of ‘returning to ourselves’ through the regeneration of our Indigenous ways of knowing. A counter to Western constructs of sovereignty, ownership and time, the works of biskaabiiyang explore the process of decolonization through ancestral knowledge, land stewardship, water protection and body and identity sovereignty. Using the context of an imagined future, we challenge our erasure and create ourselves into being, aligning past, present and future. It is always now.
Opening reception: October 14, 6 – 8 pm
On view through December 11, 2021
Other public programming dates TBA
About the Artists:
Santo Aveiro-Ojeda (they/them) is an artist, speaker, and gamemaker. Their latest project, DON’T WAKE THE NIGHT, is a 2D point-and-click game funded by the Ontario Art Council’s Emerging Media Artist grant and the Toronto Arts Council Media Artist grant inspired by and based on concepts of spirituality from Guaraní teachings. They are currently working on a new game project focusing around Indigenous Cyberpunk and Indigenous Futurisms. SANTO is also a co-director at DMG, a non-for-profit arts organizations dedicated to supporting queer and gender-marginalized creators in making, playing, and changing games. www.santoaveiro.com
Sequoia Hauck (they/she) is a Native (Anishinaabe/Hupa) queer multidisciplinary artist based in the Twin Cities on the stolen and ancestral Dakota lands of the Wahpeton, Mdewakantonwon, Wahpekute, and Sisseton. Sequoia’s focus is on creating theater, film, poetry, and performance art that decolonizes the process of art-making. They are a graduate from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a B.A. in American Indian Studies. Sequoia has worked on and offstage with organizations such as Aniccha Arts, Art Shanty Projects, Exposed Brick Theatre, The Jungle Theater, Māoriland, An Opera Theatre (AOT), Pangea World Theater, Patrick’s Cabaret, Poetry and Pie, The Southern Theater, and Turtle Theater Collective. Sequoia recently co-directed a documentary, “Never Turn Your Back to the Wave: The Travis Jordan Story” which was in the 2021 Mpls-St. Paul International Film Festival. www.sequoiahauck.com
Reyna Hernandez (she/her) utilizes mixed media across disciplines to investigate the concept of identity hybridity in relation to her Indigenous bloodlines and westernized arts education. Reyna attempts to investigate her place in the world while examining the complex connections between western discourse, epistemic violence in academia, and her own sense of Dakota identity. Reynahernandezart.com
Elizabeth LaPensée, Ph.D. is an award-winning designer, writer, and artist of games, emergent media, and comics. She is Anishinaabe with family from Bay Mills, Métis, and Irish. She is an Assistant Professor in Media & Information and Writing, Rhetoric & American Cultures and Director of the Serious Games Graduate Certificate at Michigan State University. Thunderbird Strike with design and art by Elizabeth LaPensée, programming by Adrian Cheater, and music and sound effects by Casey Koyczan.
Coyote Park (he/they) is a 2Spirit, mixed race (Korean, White, Native American) artist from Honolulu, Hawai’i that currently lives in Tongva Territory/Los Angeles. They are a photographer and storyteller who is Indigenous to California. Park focuses their work on their trans family, as they want to make images of people that they love and have shared lived experiences with. Park’s work celebrates the every day by documenting their home space and environments in building queer utopia. Park merges their written work with their passion for image making and has been working on a photo book entitled “All Kin is Blood Kin” surrounding themes of family, rebirth, bodies, sexuality, and love. Park’s practice is community and collaboration oriented, as they make photographs with their romantic partners and friendships. They are continuing to make photos in New York, California, and Hawai’i with other QTPOC and of queer/trans couples, evolving their work through time and new experiences. https://coyotepark.format.com
Summer-Harmony Twenish (they/them) is a queer Algonquin person from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg. They are a self-taught, multi-disciplinary artist (currently) working primarily in digital illustration, painting, and rug-making. Inspired by a blend of their own Algonquin worldviews and the experiences that come with growing up as a fat, queer rez grrrl in kkkanada, their work is both fiercely anti-colonial and unapologetically vulnerable. @nibinikwe
About the Curator:
Juleana Enright (they/them) is a queer, Indigenous writer, curator, theatre artist and DJ living in Minneapolis. They are a member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe of South Dakota, Turtle Island. Juleana is the archivist/documenter for Lightning Rod, a trans-led arts organism and the assistant to the Arts Director at All My Relations Arts. Their past roles have included Culture Editor for l’étoile magazine and Communications Specialist for Gamut Gallery. They have contributed to local platforms Pride Magazine, mplsart.com, Primer, and City Pages. Juleana has curated two art exhibitions, including their own solo curatorial show in the spring of 2018, titled “Soft Boundaries,” which explored how the vulnerable narrative can be used as an act of resistance, liberation and healing. Juleana is a co-curator and co-founder of the multi-sensory queer dance and performance night, Feelsworldwide. In 2019, Juleana co-directed a week-long, works-in-process theatre initiative for Lightning Rod. In 2020, they were a participating artist in “Controlled Burn” at the Phoenix Theatre, where they exhibited, “To Wash the Native Out of Us” – an audio/visual installation on the history of Indian boarding schools – in collaboration with photographer Dom Laba. Juleana is a recipient of the Emerging Curators Institute 2020-21 Fellowship program. Through their practice, Juleana strives to examine the act of daily creation in the midst of great chaos and explore what it means to be a contemporary 2spirit artist with focus on decolonization through art, ancestral knowledge and reclaiming Native joy through existence, resilience and expression.
Emerging Curators Institute