Critical Writing Index

Transactions: Investigations of postcolonial identity

by Rebecca Garrett

Gallery: The Art Magazine From the Gallery Delta, June 1999, pp. 15-21

Rebecca Garrett frames the work of three aboriginal Canadian artists within the context of post colonialism in Canada. By dressing up it's basic tenets in new clothes, post colonialism continues and perpetuates colonial reactions and values under the guise of an equal playing field. These three artists belong to a tradition of resistance to colonization in Canada. Stephen Foster's work Off Centre explores the generations of digital decomposition and encoding as a metaphor for cultural assimilation and institutional entrapment. Zachery Longboy's Confirmation of My Sins speaks from a an historical, material, and social ground which is not pure, essential or singular but confused, conflicted and hybrid; acknowledging his biracial upbringing, and the historical reality of aboriginal peoples rather than the myth. Shelley Niro's work, Are You My Sister? implicates us all as participants/subjects in the portraits she has created. Niro reclaims and redefines representations of herself with her living, working, struggling, inventing community. These artists do not provide the classic images of Native Americans as fodder for a white colonialist imagination, rather they reflect a complexity of their place in the time and space of post colonial Canada.

ITEM 1999.086 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Off CentreStephen Foster

Confirmation of My SinsZachery Longboy

Are You My Sister?Shelley Niro