Scott Benesiinaabandan (stephens): unSacred

Gallery 1C03


Scott Benesiinaabandan, (un)sacred clown, 2010, digital print on photo rag, 50 by 40 in. -- Image courtesy of the artist.

Gallery 1C03 presents

Scott Benesiinaabandan (stephens)

January 20 - February 19, 2011

Opening reception: Thursday, January 20 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
(Gallery 1C03)

Public artist talk: Friday, January 21 from 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
(Room 2C14)

Gallery 1C03 is proud to present unSacred, Scott Benesiinaabandan's first solo exhibition. unSacred will include new and recent digital images and a single channel video installation that draw, in part, upon research the artist conducted while studying at The University of Winnipeg. unSacred explores liminality through an investigation of the Windigokaan, a contrary figure in traditional Anishinabe society.

Operating on the fringe of traditional Anishinabe culture, the Windigokaan represents the opposite of accepted norms. Benesiinaabandan contends that, like clowns or misfits in other cultures, Windigokaan use their backwardness to teach others and that their contrary nature represents a powerful symbol that has received little attention to date, both within and outside of Anishinabe society. His landscape studies suggest the imagined physical space from which contrariness might originate and his depictions of material manifestations of the Windigokaan will open discussion about this sacred society and the importance of deviant cultural figures. unSacred is co-presented as a satellite exhibition of Plug In ICA's Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years, a large-scale exhibition of contemporary Indigenous art from around the world that serves as the banner project for Winnipeg's Cultural Capital of Canada 2010 Program.

Scott Benesiinaabandan (formerly recognized as Scott Stephens) is an emerging Anishinabe artist based in Winnipeg who works in photography, printmaking and video, among other media. Benesiinaabandan obtained a BA in Psychology and Religious Studies from The University of Winnipeg (2002) and has completed mentorships and workshops with Manitoba Printmakers Association (Martha Street Studio) and Aboriginal Film Training. During the summer of 2010, Benesiinaabandan also carried out an international residency at Context Gallery in Derry, Ireland. In the past four years, Benesiinaabandan has been awarded grants from the Manitoba Arts Council and the Winnipeg Arts Council for his artistic work. Although Benesiinaabandan has taken part in several group exhibitions across Canada and in the United States, most notably in Subconscious City at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 2008, unSacred represents his first solo exhibition.

Gallery 1C03 will produce a publication related to this exhibition featuring essays by Dr. Mark Ruml, Department of Religious Studies at The University of Winnipeg, and Independent Curator Jaime Isaac. Expected date of release is Spring 2010.

Gallery 1C03 gratefully acknowledges financial assistance from The University of Winnipeg, Manitoba Arts Council, Winnipeg Cultural Capital of Canada 2010 and Plug In ICA for this project. We are also grateful for the support of the Aboriginal Student Services Centre at The University of Winnipeg.

Regular Gallery Hours:
Monday - Friday, noon - 4 p.m.
Saturday: 1 - 4 p.m.
Closed Louis Riel Day.

Jennifer Gibson
Curator, Gallery 1C03
The University of Winnipeg
515 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E9
Ph: 204.786.9253
F: 204.774.4134