The Frye Art Museum opens the first major survey exhibition of Duane Linklater's work

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The Frye Art Museum opens the first major survey exhibition of Duane Linklater's work
Duane Linklater. The place I seek to go, 2014. Coyote fur, garment rack, hanger, flat screen TV, Apple Mac mini, digital video, cables. 132 x 66 x 20 in. Collection of Remai Modern, Saskatoon, Canada. Purchased with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Grants program, 2016. © Duane Linklater. Installation view, But the sun is up and you’re going?, Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver, Canada, 2014. Courtesy Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver. Photo: SITE Photography.

SEATTLE, WA.- The Frye Art Museum is presenting Duane Linklater: mymothersside (on view September 18, 2021–January 16, 2022), an exhibition that brings together sculptures, video works, and digital prints on linen from the past decade of the artist’s practice, as well as new adaptations of installations that he has continually revisited and revised. Linklater will also make modifications to the exhibition midway through its run, creating a presentation that embodies the fluidity and improvisation vital to his approach to art making.

Duane Linklater works across a range of mediums to address the contradictions of contemporary Indigenous life within—and beyond—settler systems of knowledge, representation, and value. Breaching the boundaries of the galleries, the exhibition spills out into the courtyard and culminates in an architectural intervention that literally tears down the walls. These gestures serve to open the historically exclusionary construct of the museum to Indigenous content, including works in sculpture and video that focus on enduring ancestral practices such as hunting, berry gathering, and fur trading; digital translations of tribal objects held in institutional collections; and a series of large-scale structures made with tepee poles. With his draped and folded tepee cover paintings, Linklater transforms the semicircular canvas wrapping of the traditional Cree dwelling into a support for digitally printed imagery that he tints with natural dyes.

Appearing amid these culturally significant forms and materials, references to the artist’s family, childhood home, and favorite bands, films, and garments suggest an expansive constellation of identifications that defies reductive notions of identity. This refusal to be pinned down is an assertion of sovereignty and self-determination—a way for Linklater to counter ongoing processes of erasure, extraction, and dispossession that impede Indigenous people’s potential. Through art, he aims to create what he calls “a zone of non-interference,” a space of autonomy and agency, where that potential can manifest.

Duane Linklater (Omaskêko Cree, b. 1976, Treaty 9 territory, Canada) lives and works in North Bay, Ontario. Linklater earned a BFA in fine art and Native studies from the University of Alberta in 2005 and an MFA in film and video from the Milton Avery Graduate School of Arts at Bard College in 2012. He has presented solo exhibitions at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, East Lansing (2017), 80WSE Gallery, New York, and Mercer Union, Toronto (2016), and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City (2015). Recently, Linklater’s work has been included in group exhibitions at, among others, Artists Space, New York (2019), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2019), and the High Line, New York (2018). In 2011, Linklater initiated Wood Land School, a nomadic, collaborative project that centers Indigenous forms and ideas in the institutional spaces the school inhabits.

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