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Temporal Re-Imaginings

November 10, 2015 - April 30, 2016

Alexandra Kahsenni:io Nahwegahbow
Alexandra Kahsenni:io Nahwegahbow Photographer(s): Rosalie Favell

Understanding time, remembering the past and telling stories about it are all highly contested and cultural acts. In Indigenous traditions, storytellers and artists frequently challenge and disrupt Western perceptions of time as a linear, progressive unfolding of events. Rather, our stories and histories exist in places where time is round, open, malleable, and can fold and fluctuate. Our stories are often characterized by beings or individuals who possess the power to travel through time and into other worlds. Indigenous representations of history and time allow for this permeability and flux. Movement is a central component of our being, as Anishinaabe writer Gerald Vizenor notes, Indigenous sovereignty arises out of the right of motion – that is, the inherent ability and vision to move.

Artists like Barry Ace, Joi T. Arcand, Goota Ashoona, Carl Beam, Lance Belanger, Hannah Claus, Rosalie Favell, Alex Janvier, Roy Kakegamic, Mary Longman, Marianne Nicolson, Meryl McMaster, Caroline Monnet, Françoise Oklaga and Jesse Oonark bring to light the ongoing movement inherent to our stories and histories, as they skillfully navigate and reshape notions of time. They help us re-envision realities.

Re-imagining time through Indigenous art is a call to action, a radical and regenerative act that asks each of us to set into motion a genuine re-thinking of the status quo and allows us, as beings, to transmit memory and concerns of the past and present to a resurgence – a creative visioning of a future that is healthy, empowered and Indigenized.

Read the full artist statement

Resurgence is dancing on our turtle’s back; 
it is visioning and dancing new realities and worlds into existence.

Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg writer Leanne Simpson


Alexandra Kahsenni:io Nahwegahbow

Alexandra Kahsenni:io Nahwegahbow is Anishinaabe and Kanien'keha:ka, and a member of Whitefish River First Nation with roots in Kahnawake. She grew up just outside of Ottawa and is currently pursuing her PhD in Cultural Mediations in the Institute of Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture at Carleton University. She has a strong interest in stories, oral history and Indigenous art and material culture, and believes that creativity, art and processes of imagining and art-making have the ability to change the world.


Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG)