Ascension of Abundance curated by Natalie King
Janine Ilya, Par Nair, Alexis Nanibush-Pamajewong, Cedar-Eve and Hau Pham
May 26 – July 8, 2023
“….I end up in discussions with other young women who are trying to be good aunties without having aunties of their own. We express sadness and shame at being made to beg for teachings like we’re mining for gold with our bare hands, only to be told we aren’t trying hard enough… But resistance is in our blood. So we shred their illegal contracts with the movement of our hands, digging for the roots our great-grandmothers used to treat cramps, anxiety, and patriarchy. We recreate rites-of-passage ceremonies to teach ourselves survival skills for the apocalypse that has never ceased. Here, knowing how to salvage the quills from a roadkill porcupine is more useful than being exiled to sit alone with our sins, like the in abstinent, unconciliatory little witches we are—heathen, obstinate, and refusing to convert.”
- Erica Violet Lee, ‘In defense of the wastelands”
Ascension of Abundance is an exhibition in which artists move through time and space to portray thoughts, feelings and ideas related to dreaming of worlds beyond our current reality.
Janine Ilya, Par Nair, Alexis Nanibush-Pamajewong, Cedar-Eve and Hau Pham all share speculative futures and themes of abundance, joy, sovereignty, magic-making, and world-building as each are embedded in the artist’s practices, creating space and energy to expand our current reality while sharing their stories, memories and thoughts regarding the past, present and future.
Dr. Darcie Little Badger, a Lipan Apache scientist and Indigenous futurist author, reflected in an interview that: “Both in and outside fiction, we are pushed to the past tense. The reality is, many Indigenous cultures in North America survived an apocalypse. The key word is survived. Any future with us in it, triumphant and flourishing, is a hopeful one.”
Reflecting on these triumphant and flourishing futures. As artists and creatives, we are often working within hard timelines, on top of a full or part time job, well aware of scarcity and abundance. Colonial forces and praxis force us to believe that resources are limited, including our time, relationships and livelihoods. We are currently living in a capitalistic and colonial society, at the same time there are many artists working within ideas of future reclamation. Abundance is everywhere in our relationships, in our time and in our lived experiences. Past and present converge to create ideas/narratives and dreams about the future.
Within these ideas of future, past and present, the artists in Ascension of Abundance create worlds within worlds, telling their stories through textiles, painting, sculpture, installation and video.
- Excerpt from exhibition essay by Natalie King
Photo Documentation by Em Moor