Press the Record Button: Considering the Archives of Mike MacDonald, curated by Lisa Myers

Press the Record Button: Considering the Archives of Mike MacDonald, curated by Lisa Myers

October 7 – November 5, 2022
Bachir/Yerex Presentation Space
4th floor, 401 Richmond St. West
Tuesday – Saturday, 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Walk-ins welcome, no pre-booking necessary!

Presented in partnership with the 2022 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, this exhibition creates a series of study centres where visitors will be able to peruse a selection of materials from the late Mike MacDonald’s archival holdings, including video recordings he made and 45rpm records he collected. Curator Lisa Myers has written:

“Press the Record Button considers the video and material archive of the late Mi’kmaw artist Mike MacDonald to address broader questions about artists’ archives: How do the stories and information within Indigenous artists’ and filmmakers’ archives enrich our understanding of First Nations’ governance and histories? How should artists’ and filmmakers’ archives be accessed and cared for? And by whom?

“Presenting a selection of tapes from his archive housed both at media art distributor Vtape in Toronto, and at the National Gallery of Canada, Library and Archives, this exhibition reflects his practice with an eclectic mix of the sources he drew from and the communities he moved through with his camera. From shooting video of punk rock shows in Vancouver, to documentation of protests for anti-nuke activists, to testimonies for court cases and documentation of protests for the Native Brotherhood, MacDonald created a web of relations and stories that represent his practice as artist and documentarian. As a consumer of television and video, MacDonald’s archive also signals his concern with mass media through a range of programs he recorded off television.”

Events will take place in the exhibition before and during the 2022 imagineNATIVE Fim + Media Arts Festival, October 18 – 30, 2022. Please watch the Vtape website for notices of these upcoming events.

This exhibition is supported in part by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

Born in Nova Scotia, Mike MacDonald (1941 – 2006) was a multi-media artist of Mi’kmaq ancestry. He was principally self-taught, and his works have been featured in exhibitions internationally. He received the prestigious Jack and Doris Shadbolt Prize from the Vancouver Institute for Visual Arts, and the first Aboriginal Achievement Award for New Media presented at the Toronto imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival.

Lisa Myers is a curator and artist whose work focuses on the varied values and functions of elements such as medicine plants and language, sound, and knowledge. Myers is a member of Beausoleil First Nation and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change at York University.

Image credit: Vtape

Co-presented with the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival