Joar Nango: Uncle Doug’s Fishing Shack

Fillip with Art Gallery of York University and Plug In ICA, 2023
21×30 cm, 16 pp, 8 col, staple-bound softcover
ISBN 978-0-972354-40-7

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Supplement 7: Uncle Doug’s Fishing Shack traces Joar Nango’s artistic process, mapping the development of his temporary installation and sculpture Uncle Doug’s Fishing Shack, 2019. The publication features an interview between Nango and Indigenous architect David Thomas about an abandoned military barracks’ transformation into Canada’s largest urban reserve. It also includes a short essay by Indigenous architect Ryan Gorrie in which he examines Circle of Life Thunderbird House in Winnipeg, designed by renowned Indigenous architect Douglas Cardinal. These texts are paired with critical writings by architecture lecturer Timothy O’Rourke and architecture scholar Courtney R. Thompson, who detail accounts of governmental suppression of Indigenous architectural and artistic ingenuity in both Australia and Canada. These writing are interwoven by text by Jenifer Papararo, curator of Uncle Doug’s Fishing Shack, reflecting on Nango’s research process and the conversations that ignited, developed, and epitomized the nature of this collaborative and improvisational site-specific installation.

This publication was launched at the Venice Architecture Biennale as part of Girjegumpi, Nango’s ongoing library project for which he has been assembling an archive of books about issues relevant to Indigenous architecture for over fifteen years, . To animate the installation in the Nordic Countries Pavilion, a conversation between Nango and Thomas discussing Indigenous architecture within a global context was presented by AGYU, Plug In, and Fillip on May 20.

The publication is part of the Supplements series published by Fillip (Vancouver), with this edition published in collaboration with Plug In ICA (Winnipeg) and the Art Gallery of York University (Toronto). Supplement 7 is edited by Jenifer Papararo.


Joar Nango is a process-based artist working within the provisional nature of sculpture, performance, and architecture. He is an artist, architect, builder, publisher, and host. He lives and works in Tromsø, Norway. Nango is Sámi, belonging to the Indigenous peoples from Sápmi, the traditional Sámi territory. He has exhibited widely, recently presenting a large-scale solo exhibition at Bergen Kunsthall, Norway. He has participated in exhibitions at the National Gallery of Canada, Tensta Konsthall, the Chicago Architecture Biennial, and Documenta 14 in Kassel and Athens. Girjegumpi, the Sámi Architecture Library, is his contribution to the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

David Thomas is Anishinaabe, a member of Peguis First Nation, and has been in the architecture profession for over twenty years. He leads the Treaty One Development Corporation, which is transforming the Kapyong Military Barracks in Winnipeg into Naawi-Oodena, the largest urban reserve in Canada. He developed the Indigenous Peoples Garden at Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park, part of Canada’s Diversity Garden. Along with Indigenous architecture projects and installations in Toronto and Vancouver, Thomas has presented his work in New Zealand and the UK. He was also on the team of UNCEDED: Voices of the Land, Canada’s entry of Indigenous architects for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. Thomas’s practice, process, and research focus on identity and lived experiences as an Indigenous person.


Fillip is a Vancouver-based publishing organization that was formed in 2004 to expand spaces for critical discussions on contemporary art, and is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. Fillip is on the unceded Musqueam, Squamish), and Tsleil-Waututh Territories.

Established in 1972, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art is Canada’s oldest ICA with a holistic mandate to support all aspects of art-making by presenting, producing and circulating contemporary art through research, exhibitions, publications, education, outreach and advocacy. Plug In is supported by Canada Council for the Arts, Manitoba Arts Council, and Winnipeg Arts Council, and is located on Treaty 1 Territory.

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