Curated by Liz Barron
On view at PAVED Arts November 5-December 10, 2021
NO I.D. Required Artist Panel on ZOOM
Saturday, November 6th at 7 pm Saskatoon time, 8 pm in Winnipeg, 9 pm in Toronto
Moderated by Jack Saddleback, Two Spirit Advocate.
The Gallery capacity is five people in the space at a time. To book your private viewing, please email email@example.com. Proof of vaccination and masks required for entry.
NO I.D. required considers how Indigenous two-spirit artists are presenting the future within the context of their present and their past while revealing ways of thinking about what is to be. NO I.D. required brought together Indigenous artist from Canada to explore visual media stories within the context of two-spirit diaspora.
NO I.D. required is an exploration of two-spirit and the colonization of Indigenous two-spirit. We look to extend the post-colonial explorations of identities and move towards exploring no identification required. It was in 1990 at the Third Annual Native American Gay and Lesbian gathering in Winnipeg, Manitoba, homeland of the Metis and Treaty One Territory, that the term Two-Spirit was agreed to as the best way to describe their community using and adopting a colonized language, English. The term “Two (2) Spirit” acts as a bridge between Indigenous and non-Indigenous persons as an entry point for understanding queer Indigenous culture. Prior to contact, Indigenous peoples did not have a gender identity assignment. The identity of Two-Spirit has a traditional social and ceremonial role within an Indigenous community, it is masculine, feminine, spiritual, and societal. The colonized language seems to push it to only gender and doesn’t incorporate all the layers of an identity that encompasses all of those things and more. The roles within the Indigenous communities have been lost to colonization, however, as we come out from under the colonizers, Indigenous Two-Spirit are taking back their roles and space within the community.
For the Indigenous who live, have lived, and are yet to live in two-spirit, this exhibition can provide both reﬂections and maps to unique cultures that thrive within the Indigenous landscapes. The work will stimulate viewers to reﬂect upon their own personal and public stories. These encounters and struggles are shaped by Indigenous legends, realities as well as a co-mingling of both fact and ﬁction.
NO I.D. required consists of exhibition with installation, an artist talk and in-person presentation during the exhibition, along with text on each artists’ stories shared through social media. For the Indigenous who live, have lived, and are yet to live in two-spirit, this exhibition can provide both reﬂections and maps to unique cultures that thrive within the Indigenous landscapes. The work will stimulate viewers to reﬂect upon their own personal and public stories. These encounters and struggles are shaped by Indigenous legends, realities as well as a co-mingling of both fact and ﬁction.
Barron’s selected artists exposes personal and social histories that have contributed to two-spirit identity. Jason Baerg’s realist, new media portrait of his young urbanite life deliberately obscures his face and explores movement through land. Baerg’s “The Apology” reflects a time in our generation when, in the moment, in those 12 minutes, we were all one.
Short’s work “Wake Up!” explores their connection to Metis and questions engaging in the shared culture and history of Metis men. How can one explore identity when the history is of men? Short uses the film to create herself as Riel and adopts the identity of man. Will the transition be a guide or a hinderance to learning and adopting Metis culture? Where are the women?
Lajoie’s Métis Femme Bodies is an exploration into the experiences of what has become a repressed identity in both Indigenous and femme forms. Lajoie is a Queer Métis multi-disciplinary artist honoring, engaging, and amplifying the voices of their Indigiqueer communities through storytelling in the forms of printmaking, photography, and moving-image on Treaty 1 Territory, the lands of their ancestors.
Jessie Ray Short is an artist, filmmaker and independent curator of Métis, Ukrainian and German descent. Jessie Ray’s practice involves uncovering connections between a myriad of topics that interest her, including, but not limited to, space and time, Indigenous and settler histories, Métis visual culture, personal narratives, spiritual and scientific belief systems, parallel universes, electricity, aliens and non-human being(s). Jessie Ray explores these topics using mediums such as film and video, performance art, finger weaving, sewing, writing and curating. She has been invited to show her work nationally and internationally, including at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre in Kingston, at La Chambre Blanche in Québec City, Art Mûr Berlin (a satellite exhibition of the Contemporary Native Art Biennial/BACA) in Germany, and at the Wairoa Maori Film Festival in New Zealand. Jessie Ray is deeply grateful to be based in oskana kâ-asastêki or Pile of Bones (also known as Regina) in Treaty 4 territory.
Chanelle Lajoie is a Queer Métis multi-disciplinary artist from Treaty 1 Territory honoring, engaging, and amplifying the voices of the communities to which they belong through storytelling in the form of printmaking, photography, and moving-image. Their ties to community are best witnessed in recent projects Métis Femme Bodies (2018) and Lavender Menace (2020) which explore Indigi-queer identity and femininity. Chanelle has participated in MAWA’s Foundation Mentorship Program (2020-21) which prepared them for moving- image projects: GrandMother/Tongue, with Toronto Queer Film Festival’s DIY Lab Mentorship Program (2020-21) and Bison Hunt, with ImagineNATIVE’s Doc Salon Fellowship as part of the European Film Market (2021). They recently attended Harbour Collective’s Meech Lake Residency (August 2021), completing moving- image project Land (Ab)Use.
Jason Baerg is an Indigenous curator, educator, and visual artist. Curatorial projects include exhibitions with Toronto’s Nuit Blanche and the University of Toronto. Baerg graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts and a Masters of Fine Arts from Rutgers University. He currently is teaching as the Assistant Professor in Indigenous Practices in Contemporary Painting and Media Art at OCAD University. Dedicated to community development, he founded and incorporated the Metis Artist Collective and has served as volunteer Chair for such organizations as the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective and the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition. Creatively, as a visual artist, he pushes new boundaries in digital interventions in drawing, painting and new media installation. Recent international solo exhibitions include the Illuminato Festival in Toronto, Canada, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia and the Digital Dome at the Institute of the American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Jason Baerg has adjudicated numerous art juries and won awards through such facilitators as the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and The Toronto Arts Council. For more information about his work, please visit Jasonbaerg.com.
Liz Barron, Curator
Liz Barron, Metis, is one of three founders of Urban Shaman Gallery, an artist-run centre devoted to Indigenous contemporary art, in Winnipeg. Barron has been working in the Indigenous arts for more than 25 years and explores the gap between Indigenous art and cultural connections. Her artistic and research practice centers on identity, place and visibility / invisibility with a focus on colonized language on identity. She maintains her emerging curatorial practice and past projects include programing for moving image festivals. She was part of the management team for Plug In ICA’s Close Encounters: The Next 500 years, the largest Canadian exhibition of International Indigenous artists in 2011.