Oct. 27 2019
Crystal Migwans: Care, Containment and the Possibility of Life in Collections of Contemporary Indigenous Art
Metro Toronto Convention Centre
255 Front St. West
Art Toronto’s PLATFORM Speaker Series
Sunday, October 27, 2019 @ 1PM
The repatriation movement gave us a way to approach care of historical Indigenous material. Grave goods, sacred objects, ancestor-beings—these designations trigger certain protocols designed to protect vulnerable communities, and even reconstitute some of what colonial theft stole away. But what about care of contemporary Indigenous collections? This kind of art, by some bureaucratic math, has been assigned to a secular realm with little room for things like collective ownership, potential animacy, or kinship with objects and places. This division of historical and contemporary is, at its core, part of a system that treats such Indigenous entanglements as liabilities, and works to limit them. As Indigenous artists and art professionals make inroads into institutions that had once excluded them, and Indigenous art flows into collections, we encounter new (and old) problems in how to care for our relations.
Crystal (Mikinaak) Migwans is an Anishinaabe of Wiikwemikoong Unceded Territory and a doctoral candidate in Art History at Columbia University, currently undertaking dissertation research on natural fiber weaving traditions in the Great Lakes. Migwans’ work focuses on museum objects as relatives, and the place-making labor of customary artforms.
Also, visit the C Magazine booth at 4/edition located on the first floor of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to pick up back issues and a copy of our current issue 143 “Ownership” included free with your subscription or renewal.