Tannis Nielsen, Creation (detail). Work in progress. Courtesy of the artist
Lii Zoot Tayr (Other Worlds)
Amy Malbeuf, Suzanne Morrissette, Tannis Nielsen, Tiffany Shaw-Collinge and Jessie Ray Short
7 August 2021–30 January 2022
Historical Feature and R. Fraser Elliott Galleries
Curated by Amy Malbeuf and Jessie Ray Short

Daan li philosophie Indigene pimaatishowin ooshchipayin ooschi la forss. Kahkiyuw pimatishowin ayaw li isprii,pi tapitaw maashchipayin.Ota la plas di la forss pi isprii,taanshi kahkyuw waakootoyaak mitooni il i importaan pi li spaas nawaat li importaan ispiichi li taan.

-Leroy Little Bear1

Ata kitayaan libre chi itetamun pi naandaaw itootamun,ki-mishchiminikashonaan aswaaml,sikom lii zitwel daan den plas osyel avek li linn mamawii-waakootoyaak. Namoo ki waapahten li linn,maaka ki-mooshihawaak.

-Nikola Tesla2

Lii zoot tayr si te li twraazem daen series ooschi li exhibiiysoon araanzhii ooschi Amy Malbeuf pi Jessie Ray Short,aen kinnawaapatakik li oovraazh ooschi lii artiste di Michif. Oma kakihtwaam ooshitawin,lii artiste Malbeuf, Suzanne Morrissette, Tannis Nielsen, Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, pi Short—itahihshowaak didaan pi maaschiwaak kwaashtekamihk la tayr pi system ditwel chi nakatawetakik dahor,didaan pi kichi waayuw li spass. Nawaat kinawaapahtamaak li miyeu-isprii-inaakwa li science pi technology, li Artiste shapoopwaapahtamohk taanshi shiwaakootakik la forss kaya waapahtakik pi li nidii ooschi li isprii didaan pi waapahchikaatek. Enima kischi ay-ishchikatayk la forss ,sikom ikektrik,pi lii forss sikom gravitii,kishkaytakwun taanshi aen ishinaakwaa osyel misho-weyitay. Kahkyuw ayaaw enn fors alaantoor. Ashtew alaantoor kahkyuw aayawiin pi kahkyuw kahkwee pi kiiyapit, ayiimun chi mooshitayen(kakaat kahkyuw li taan. Ki shakamitonaan aswaambl ooschi ohihn lii fors,ahpoo kiishpin atooshkaymakii ooschi enima tapweetatawii taanshi chi atooshkaymakaa namoo kwayeh nishtotakaatek.

Mishotashitamon ,li moond mamoo sashaweewaak aan wiikihcik avek pi nishtawiinakik pi taanishi nishtotakik lii sign pi lii siing pakaan itikwe,li zoot pimatishowin pi lii zoot tayr.Ashtew enima kaya kashkitayin wiitamon,amaatishoyen,pawaatamun,tii zhveu chi chimaatayki pi namoo kikashkitaan chi wiitamun,enima ka-ishpayik. Kahkway pakaan ashtek waashtaykamik ooma ayaawin.Kahkwey ohihn ka ishpayihk namoo ki kashkitaan chi tipaahikatek? Kahkwey paahkaan,kema paahkaan ishi pimatishowin,lii zoot tayr ki-wiichiweynaan aen kishkaytamaak obaen namoo kishkaytamaak.

Li zoot tayr nishtawihnamok li ayaawin ooschi namoo itipahikatek pi kanawaapahtam li spaas tardeu kishkaytamowin pi namoo kishkaytamowin. Lii artiste daan li exhibiiysoon oota natoonikaywak eka kwayesh kawiitamik shapoo waapahtamik pi naashpitootakik li materiel pi li medium,taakwashtaak,maaka yaenk,mylar,di loo,la vitr,kicheeshkwewin,ilektrik plasma,pi pakaan kwekwee. Natoonamuk nakishkamok tar deu la fors di culture,famii pi taanshi ishi kinwaapahtamon la tayr chi ooshitak enima kashkitaak waaahchikaatek kaaya chiwaapahchikatek.Taanshi ka ishpayik la loovraazh ashtew avek kayaashk waakootowin,kashchwaak pawaatamowin,li mimwayr,pi lii nistwayr aahkinaa pi oochipita li bot ooschi lii parson iteytamoowin pi kwachikaymaw li kesyoon taanshi kishkaytamowin aayawin peyhitotaat. Sakaen Artiste oshitamowin sit e li taakkoopichkan ka nakishkamook kishkaytamowin avek kaya kishkaytamowin.

1Leroy Little Bear, “Jagged Worldviews Colliding,” in Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2009), p. 77.
2Nikola Tesla, Problem of Increasing Human Energy: With Special Reference to the Harnessing of the Sun’s Energy (S.l.: Merchant Books, 2020), p. 6.

In Aboriginal philosophy, existence consists of energy. All things are animate, imbued with spirit, and in constant motion. In this realm of energy and spirit, interrelationships between all entities are of paramount importance, and space is a more important referent than time.

-Leroy Little Bear1

Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in a firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them.

-Nikola Tesla2

Other Worlds is the third in a series of exhibitions organized by Amy Malbeuf and Jessie Ray Short exploring the work of Métis artists. In this iteration, the artists—Malbeuf, Suzanne Morrissette, Tannis Nielsen, Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, and Short—ground themselves within and move beyond the earth and solar system to ruminate on outer, inner and deep space. With a particular focus on the ethereality of science and technology, the artists examine their relationships to unseen forces and concepts of spirit and in/visibility. The fundamental forms of energy, such as electricity, and physical forces, such as gravity, determine the observable structure of the universe. Everyone has an electromagnetic field around them. It exists around all beings and all things, and yet, it is difficult to perceive (most of the time). We are bound together by these forces, even if the mechanisms by which they are believed to function are not completely understood.

Broadly speaking, people are un-practiced at living with, acknowledging and interpreting the various signs and signals that comprise other possibilities, other ways of being, other worlds. The inexplicable persists, haunts, dreams, makes hair stand on end, instructs and confounds and frequently escapes straightforward explanation while having profound, if not subtle, effects. What else is there beyond this observable physical existence? What about those instances and occurrences that cannot quite be quantified or measured? What are the other possibilities, other ways of being, other worlds we participate in knowingly or unknowingly?

Other Worlds acknowledges the existence of the immeasurable and examines the space between knowing and unknowing. The artists in this exhibition explore the inexplicable through reflection and mirroring within materials and mediums including, but not limited to, mylar, water, glass, static, electrical plasma and other matter. They explore the intersections between the forces of cultural, familial and personal worldviews to make tangible the intangible. The resulting artworks are charged with ancestral and personal dreams, memories, and stories that push and pull on the limitations of human perceptions and raise questions about how knowledge comes into being. Each artist’s creation is the binder that connects knowing to the unknown.

1Leroy Little Bear, “Jagged Worldviews Colliding,” in Reclaiming Indigenous Voice and Vision (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2009), p. 77.
2Nikola Tesla, Problem of Increasing Human Energy: With Special Reference to the Harnessing of the Sun’s Energy (S.l.: Merchant Books, 2020), p. 6.
Lii Zoot Tayr is generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts: Creating, Knowing and Sharing: the Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples Program. Research was undertaken with residency and development support from the AGYU, Toronto (2018–2019). Jessie Ray Short would like to acknowledge support received for the development of this project from Calgary Arts Development.
Michif translation by Verna DeMontigny
Image: Tannis Nielsen, Creation (detail). Work in progress. Courtesy of the artist

Find More

Installation view from With Opened Mouths. Photo: Jay Middaugh
News Story
With Opened Mouths Podcast Launches
Hear curators Amy Malbeuf and Jessie Ray Short speak about Lii Zoot Tayr (Other Worlds) in an episode of the With Opened Mouths Podcast.
Image Credits

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