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From Food to Monument presents Canoe Fight: From Reverence to Redress

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Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre

16160 Highway 12 East

Midland, ON L4R 4K6

Canada

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Quest Art’s From Food to Monument: Northern Retellings presents:

Canoe Fight: From Reverence to Redress:

A performance of slapstick, struggle and the spectacle of Canada's settlement history.


Written & directed by Michael Farnan in partnership with Jeff Kearns & David Hartman

When: November 4th, 1 pm
Where: Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre
Admission: By Donation

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Canoe Fight, looks directly at the symbolic history of the canoe and how it has been framed as both an icon and idea, and ultimately acted as a metaphor for the building of a universalized Canadian national identity. Canada’s recent 150th anniversary celebrations have demonstrated this relationship, paying homage to the canoe through portrayals of national inclusiveness, transforming the settlement of land and the history of its occupation into a shared heritage for all Canadians. But what is revealed in these initiatives is the problematic creation and continuation of a narrative that inscribes Canadian Settler culture as the natural inheritor of both land and power, this at a time when government and institutional discourse speaks to the need for reconciliation between Settler and Indigenous nations, and communities demand action and intervention on important cultural and environmental issues.

Working mainly through elements of camp humour and slapstick, Farnan’s new project invites the public to bear witness as he disrupts the idea that the canoe was somehow a freely given gift to early settlers who then used it as means to travel and “discover” the waterways of an otherwise unmanageable Canadian landscape. A journey that for many continues into the present day, through both the physical and spiritual acts of connection, recreation and commemoration. Part of a major video work filmed over several locations in Ontario, including a multi-day October shoot in Algonquin Park, Farnan and crew will be filming the final scenes of this project and create a performance-based work open to the public at the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre in Midland, Ontario. Joining Farnan will be Cinematographer David Hartman, principle actor and performance artist Jeff Kearns, along with musician Joel Alain and local accompaniment.

All visitors to the performance should expect to be filmed and possibly feature in some way in the final production and exhibition of this project.

Supported by Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Wye Marsh and generous patronage of Kathryn Foot.


Bio: Michael Farnan is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and researcher based in Victoria Harbour, Ontario. Informed by discourses of reconciliation and decolonization, Farnan’s work employs settler-based interventionist strategies aimed at challenging colonial legacies of Canada’s settler past and the contemporary representational practices that continue to privilege and empower colonial constructions of space and place.

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Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre

16160 Highway 12 East

Midland, ON L4R 4K6

Canada

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