Gallery 1C03 & Greg Hill Welcome You to Kanata
From January 20 until February 19, 2005, Gallery 1C03 visitors will be ushered into Kanata, a nation whose flag displays not a maple leaf, but three feathers. Ottawa-based artist Greg A. Hill’s latest solo exhibition, Tekwanònhweraton tsi ken’en Kanata nitisewenonh / Welcome to Kanata / Bienvenue à Kanata, deals with issues of Aboriginal sovereignty through a re-invention of Canadian identity. By means of a mixed media installation that includes a video, web cam projection, a ‘passport’ publication and a plethora of nationalistic Kanatian paraphernalia, Gallery goers will experience this country in an entirely new way. A live performance complementing the exhibit took place during the opening reception on Thursday January 20 from 4 – 6 p.m. and the artist delivered a public talk on Friday, January 21 at 12:30 p.m. All events are open to the general public at no cost. Gallery 1C03 is located on the first floor of Centennial Hall at The University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Avenue.
Kanata, the Mohawk (Kanyen’keha) word for ‘town’ or ‘village’, was recorded by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and later became Canada. Hill, whose artistic work often explores his mixed Kanyen’kehaka and French-Canadian heritage, decided to develop Kanata as a millennium project several years ago. Says the artist, “I felt that the changing of the millennium was an opportunity to start again in a better way—one that properly recognizes the enormous continuing contributions of Aboriginal Peoples to this country. The changing of the flag and the way Canada is re-spelled Kanata are simply signs of respect.”
Hill also acknowledges that changing our country’s seemingly fixed signifiers of national identity might be viewed as a transgressive act. “In fact,” writes Hill, “doing so throws everything into the mix and for some this is seen as a demonstration of openness, freedom, and opportunity—Kanata is meant to express those ideals.”
Greg Hill is a multidisciplinary artist working primarily in installation, performance, and digital imaging. He has been exhibiting his work since 1989, with solo exhibitions and performance works across Canada as well as many group exhibitions in North America and Europe. Born and raised in Fort Erie, Ontario, Hill is a member of the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation. His work can be found in several public and private collections, including the Indian Art Centre, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada; the Canadian Native Arts Foundation; the Woodland Cultural Centre; the art multiples collection of the Library of the National Gallery of Canada; and the City of Ottawa. He has received several art grants and, in 2003, he was a recipient of the K.M. Hunter Foundation Visual Arts Award. In addition to his work as a practising artist, Hill is also an Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada.
Welcome to Kanata is accompanied by an illustrated ‘passport’ publication containing an artist’s statement and essays by Catherine Mattes and Elizabeth McLuhan. Gallery 1C03 wishes to thank the Canada Council for the Arts and the Manitoba Arts Council for their generous support. Greg Hill gratefully acknowledges the financial assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the K.M. Hunter Foundation.
For further information, please contact Gallery 1C03 Curator Jennifer Gibson at 786-9253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.