Archive Restored – A thematic residency for 10 First Nations artists, curators, art historians, archivists, and critics
03 Thematic Residency: Archive Restored
Program dates: January 05, 2009 – February 20, 2009
Application deadline: July 25, 2008
Faculty: Greg Staats
In this residency, Greg Staats will bring together First Nations artists, curators, art historians, archivists, and critics who explore the sources of strength inherent in the model of the archive. Staats has first-hand experience of the loss of Mohawk language and the networks defined by that culture. In place of this systemic deficit, he has assembled an archive of images, documents, and sounds from the past. This restitution and the residual documents produced by it create strong connections with the land, nation, community, and family. Furthermore, this powerful new resource is an externalization of what is carried within the body, which in itself is a repository in dialogue with places real and imagined, traditional and contemporary.Staats has been in the process of reconnecting with a traditional restorative aesthetic. Such a practice echoes the knowledge transferred by generations within his family whereby they recalled the health of the body and mind in a series of shared repetitive events which were both restorative as well as reflective; they elevated the mind and encouraged the giving of thanks. In these situations individual grief was born by all present and could be understood as an archive of shared experience. The artist, like others in his position, can only glean what has been recorded and remembered from the past; however Staats’s newly organized archive of family history informs his life. The intergenerational joy and grief it engenders guide his aesthetic decisions and directions.
During the Archive Restored Residency, Staats will facilitate artist-centred group meetings that are intended to provoke new conversations about practice and identity, relationships to culture and the effects on production, while offering opportunities to share perspectives, research and personal experiential connections made during the residency.
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