Open Now: Vancouver Art Gallery presents Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin: how do you carry the land?

The Vancouver Art Gallery announces a new exhibition bridging the experiences of artists with diverse ancestries in dialogue, Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin: how do you carry the land? on view from July 14 to October 28, 2018. Long-time collaborators and friends, Goto and Morin have created a performance art practice informed by their perspectives as a Japanese diasporic woman and Tahltan First Nations man. Together, Goto and Morin investigate their distinctive relationships to place in this presentation of new installations and reassembled documentation from their individual and collaborative performances over the past six years.

Ayumi Goto is a performance artist based in Toronto, traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the New Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabe and the Huron-Wendat. Born in Canada, she explores her Japanese heritage to question and confront notions of nation-building, cultural belonging, and structural racism. Peter Morin is a Sobey Award-nominated Tahltan Nation artist, curator and writer whose work focuses on Indigenous ways of knowing and the disruption of Western settler colonialism. His art serves as a record of his ongoing process of understanding and practising his culture and language. The artists first began their creative partnership with this is what happens when we perform the memory of the land during the 2013 Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada’s Quebec National Event in Montreal. Incorporating video and performance, the work considered Indigenous and settler structures of witnessing beyond the Indigenous-to-state framework of the TRC.

The pair have since joined forces for multiple projects and, in the process, have developed a unique methodology of collaboration centred on the interaction of bodies in space, witnessing and connections to land. Their practice often involves drums, rattles, masks and other such cultural objects that document history and have the potential to be re-activated in new contexts and in continuity with the past, thus transcending a Western concept of linear time. Merging with the Japanese/Taoist notion of 陰陽 (inyō) that conceptualizes the universe as a circle, the artists’ multi-dimensional approach to spacetime allows them to share their works as an enfolding of many simultaneous moments from which new meanings emerge.

Goto and Morin’s work is also notably created with the intention of making inclusive spaces welcoming of their mothers, ancestors, and a multiplicity of voices, particularly of the marginalized. In this spirit, they have commissioned works by several other artists for this exhibition: Corey Bulpitt, Roxanne Charles, Navarana Igloliorte, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Haruko Okano and Juliane Okot Bitek.

The Gallery is proud to present two artists fostering important dialogue between Indigenous, racialized and diasporic communities in Canada. Ayumi Goto and Peter Morin compel us to think about how we relate to the land through the scope of our cultural experiences. Their work brings awareness and respect to Indigenous sovereignty while encouraging greater inclusivity. – Kathleen S. Bartels, Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery.

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