indigenous archive photo project
AUGUST 22 – NOVEMBER 3, 2019 | GALLERIES A & B
Paul Seesequasis guest curated his first ever gallery exhibition of archival photographs culled from his multiyear project via facebook and Instagram of sourcing and sharing images of Indigenous people from across the country. The result of this project has been to emancipate images from obscurity and let them see the light and be seen – and importantly named and acknowledged. The images are powerful in their straightforward and candid beauty – moments of time lost in a catalog.
Indigenous Archive Photo Project brings together images of his ongoing work with a regional representation of images from the Kootenay area.
Turning the Lens – the Paul Seesequasis Indigenous Archive Photo Project, with support from the British Columbia Arts Council and the Canada Council of the Arts, has been touring across Canada since the inaugural exhibition at Touchstones in the Spring of 2018. The heart of Paul’s project is to emancipate photos from the obscurity of various archives and name and acknowledge the people and places represented. This project involves a series of research residencies and exhibitions across the country, and is an extension of Paul’s pre-existing and powerful social media naming project. As a writer and an activist Paul is both challenging and co-opting the colonialist structure of archives and museums and creating a hopeful and constructive cultural conversation across Canada through the research and exposure of these images. We are incredibly proud to be supporting the work of Paul Seesequasis as it gives us an active role within the Truth and Reconciliation work that is taking place in Canada today. In addition to supporting and disseminating Paul’s important project, the message that this work conveys reminds us of the complicity of colonialist organizations, such as our own, and the need to address and rectify the role that settler institutions play within structural functionalism.