Wawatay Radio has been broadcasting across the Treaty 9 area and beyond for many years, providing listeners and active users of the network access to Indigenous languages of Northern Ontario. Duane Linklater became inspired by the way in which the communities that use this network disseminate ideas, stories, and music, most often in the Cree and Oji-Cree languages. At the core of Linklater’s new installation is a small AM radio station which has been broadcasting from his home in North Bay, Ontario (at 1700 AM), which will be moved to the Western Front’s gallery. Linklater offers this radio apparatus as a space to the Indigenous community of Vancouver to use freely and to broadcast their own songs, ideas, voices, poems, noise, jokes, complaints, grievances, readings, ramblings, and conversations on the radio in the gallery space for the duration of the exhibition.
It is an open space, an unprogrammed space, offered to the community.
As part of apparatus for the circulation of Indigenous voices and ideas into the air, Linklater will launch Ehepik Records, a new label focused on releasing work by Indigenous artists. Ehepik will publish a set of four 7″ vinyl records that act to extend and disperse the sonic space of the installation. The records feature poet Layli Long Soldier, violinist and composer Laura Ortman, artist Elisa Harkins, and a new musical collaboration between Duane Linklater, Tanya Lukin-Linklater and artist Raven Chacon. You can purchase these records at Western Front for $7, as well as on our website here.
Exhibition Brochure & Catalogue Essay
apparatus for the circulation of Indigenous voices and ideas into the air is commissioned by Western Front with support from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Duane Linklater is Omaskêko Ininiwak from Moose Cree First Nation and was born in 1976. He is currently based in North Bay, Ontario. He attended the Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts at Bard College in upstate New York, USA, completing his Master of Fine Arts in Film and Video.
Linklater’s practice is concerned in part with the exploration of the physical and theoretical structures of the museum in relation to the current and historical conditions of Indigenous people and their objects and forms. These explorations are articulated in a myriad of forms including sculpture, photography, film and video, installation and text works. Additionally, Linklater initiated Wood Land School in 2011, a nomadic formless project that seeks, in each of its iterations, to center Indigenous forms and ideas in the institutional spaces that it inhabits. WLS currently inhabits the SBC Gallery in Montreal for the entire year of 2017 and will publish a new forthcoming collection of critical texts by various contributors emerging from an organized symposium in Vancouver 2016. WLS attended Under the Mango Tree in Athens and Kassel as a part of Documenta 14.
Linklater has exhibited his work nationally and internationally at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto (2015), Vancouver Art Gallery (2015), 80 WSE Gallery in New York City (2017), Institute of Contemporary Arts Philadelphia (2015), the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City (2015), the SeMa Biennale in Seoul Korea (2016), and Documenta 13 to name a few. Forthcoming projects include a solo exhibition at the Eli And Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and new public art commission in Don Valley in Toronto Canada.
Duane has also received several prizes including the 2013 Sobey Art Award, a national annual prize given to an artist under 40 and more recently the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award from the Canada Council for the Arts in 2016. Duane is currently represented by Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver.
Layli Long Solider is an Oglala Lakota poet, writer and artist. Her writing has appeared in The American Poet, American Indian Journal of Culture and Research, PEN America, The Brooklyn Rail, and Mud City, among others. Her 2017 book WHEREAS was nominated for the National Book Award in the United States.
Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache) is a Brooklyn composer, musician, visual artist, and hairstylist. Recently, she has completed her third solo album My Soul Remainer. She continually collaborates with artists, filmmakers, dancers and musicians from New York, New Mexico, Italy and Canada.
Elisa Harkins is a Native American (Cherokee/Muscogee) composer and artist whose work deals with the concept of “Performing Life”, in which the performance intersects with her actual lived experience. Tackling subjects such as adoption, enrollment, and the 1990 Indian Arts and Crafts Act, Harkins uses electronic music, sculpture, and the body as her tools.
Raven Chacon is an American composer and installation artist working in a variety of mediums. He is known as a composer of chamber music as well as a solo performer of experimental noise music. He is recognized as one of few Native Americans working in either genre.
Tanya Lukin-Linklater is an Alutiiq artist and choreographer, her performance collaborations, videos, and installations have been exhibited across Canada and internationally. She is compelled by relationships between bodies, histories, poetry, pedagogies, Indigenous conceptual spaces and Indigenous languages, and institutions. Her work has been exhibited and performed at EFA Project Space + Performa, New York City, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Museum of Contemporary Art Santiago, Chilé, SBC Gallery, Montreal, Western Front, Vancouver, Images Festival + Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto, Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, and elsewhere.