Lii Zoot Tayr (Other Worlds)
13 May – 9 July 2022
Amy Malbeuf, Suzanne Morrissette, Tannis Nielsen, Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, and Jessie Ray Short
Detail of Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, my children, my mother, her mother and their mother, and their mother, and their mother, and their mother…, 2021. Photo by Liz Ikiriko.
Daan li philosophie Indigene pimaatishowin ooshchipayin ooschi la forss. Kahkiyuw pimatishowin ayaw li isprii, pi tapitaw maashchipayin. Ota la plas di la forss pi isprii, taanshi kahkyuw waakootoyaak mitooni il i importaan pi li spaas nawaat li importaan ispiichi li taan.
In Aboriginal philosophy, existence consists of energy. All things are animate, imbued with spirit, and in constant motion. In this realm of energy and spirit, interrelationships between all entities are of paramount importance, and space is a more important referent than time.
– Leroy Little Bear, “Jagged Worldviews Colliding,” in Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2009), 77.
Ata kitayaan libre chi itetamun pi naandaaw itootamun, ki-mishchiminikashonaan aswaaml, sikom lii zitwel daan den plas osyel avek li linn mamawii-waakootoyaak. Namoo ki waapahten li linn, maaka ki-mooshihawaak.
Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in a firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them.
– Nikola Tesla, The Problem of Increasing Human Energy: With Special Reference to the Harnessing of the Sun’s Energy (s.i.: Merchant Books, 2020), 6.
Lii Zoot Tayr (Other Worlds) is the third in a series of exhibitions curated by Amy Malbeuf and Jessie Ray Short exploring the work of Métis artists. In this iteration, the artists—Malbeuf, Suzanne Morrissette, Tannis Nielsen, Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, and Short—ground themselves within and move beyond the earth and solar system to ruminate on outer, inner, and deep space. Curators Malbeuf and Ray Short write:
“With a particular focus on the ethereality of science and technology, the artists examine their relationships to unseen forces and concepts of spirit and in/visibility. The fundamental forms of energy, such as electricity, and physical forces, such as gravity, determine the observable structure of the universe. Everyone has an electromagnetic field around them. It exists around all beings and all things, and yet, it is difficult to perceive (most of the time). We are bound together by these forces, even if the mechanisms by which they are believed to function are not completely understood.
Lii Zoot Tayr acknowledges the existence of the immeasurable and examines the space between knowing and unknowing. The artists in this exhibition explore the inexplicable through reflection and mirroring within materials and mediums including, but not limited to, mylar, water, glass, static, electrical plasma and other matter. They explore the intersections between the forces of cultural, familial and personal worldviews to make tangible the intangible. The resulting artworks are charged with ancestral and personal dreams, memories, and stories that push and pull on the limitations of human perceptions and raise questions about how knowledge comes into being. Each artist’s creation is the binder that connects knowing to the unknown.”
There is a discursive program related to the exhibition, including an in-person curator-led tour of the exhibition on May 14 at 2 pm EDT; Dreaming Together, an online panel discussion with the artists moderated by Cheryl L’Hirondelle on June 23 at noon EDT; and These Streets Remember: Prairie Métis History in Toronto, a virtual lecture by Dr. Sherry Farrell Racette on July 5 at 6 pm EDT. Please click https://agyu.art/project/affiliated-events/ for more information and to register for these events.
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Lii Zoot Tayr is produced by the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen’s University, Kingston, with research and development support from the Art Gallery of York University. The exhibition was generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts: Creating, Knowing and Sharing: the Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples Program). Jessie Ray Short acknowledges support received for the development of this project from Calgary Arts Development. Michif translation by Verna DeMontigny. Anishinaabemowin translation by Shirley Ida Williams. Translation of Cheryl L’Hirondelle’s essay into nêhiyawêwin by Dorothy Thunder.