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. 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 and which will be moved to the Western Front’s gallery, where it will broadcast throughout the run of the exhibition. Linklater will use this platform as a space to give a series of invited guests a presence on the radio.
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.