Lovesick Child is Toronto's first retrospective exhibition between A Space Gallery and the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival on Aboriginal new media pioneer Âhasiw Maskêgon-Iskwêw. His work with the Canada Council for the Arts and the Banff Centre on a number of equity and new media initiatives such as Drum Beats to Drum Bytesin 1994 ensured Indigenous presence within the new territory of new media and the Internet. Âhasiw initiated a number of projects in collaboration with local artists, local youth, and street-involved people in North Central Regina, at the vanguard of interdisciplinary work that privileged and combined community stories and Indigenous worldviews & narratives. Part of a substantial body of work that spanned several years, practices, and communities, Lovesick Child—the audio/text project from which the title of this exhibition is derived—synthesizes a number of the different streams of art production that Âhasiw undertook in his lifetime. For this exhibition, this piece functions as a foundation for both a discussion of Âhasiw’s work and influence on Canadian media art, as well as the two complementary works in the exhibition newly created by artists Adrian Stimson and Leslie McCue. Curated by Elwood Jimmy, Lovesick Child focuses on some of Âhasiw’s key works, as well as on artists like Âhasiw, who locate community, collaboration, interactivity, and Indigenous knowledge and practice at the forefront of their respective practices.
Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew was Cree/French Metis born in McLennan, Alberta in 1958. He graduated in performance art and installation from Emily Carr College of Art and Design, Vancouver, British Columbia in 1985. A leading Indigenous theorist, curator, writer, new media practitioner and performance artist, he worked for artist run centres in Vancouver, Regina, and Winnipeg, curating, producing and writing about new practices in performance, video, and new media. In addition, he worked for the Canada Council for the Arts and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) among many other organizations and institutions. He passed away in 2006.
Leslie McCue is Mississauga Ojibway from Curve Lake First Nation. She is currently the General Manager at the Association for Native Development in the Performing and Visual Arts. This year she was the 2013 Mentor for the Female Eye Film Festiva's Super 8 program and is the current Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) Trainee for the television series ASKIboyz. Leslie has presented work at the Juno Beach Museum in France, the Vancouver Winter Olympics, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the University of Toronto, Gallery 44 in Toronto and the University of Amsterdam, among others. Leslie has received a Community Betterment Award from the Mayor of Peterborough for her work within the community.
Adrian Stimson is a member of the Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation in southern Alberta. He is an interdisciplinary artist with a BFA with distinction from the Alberta College of Art & Design and MFA from the University of Saskatchewan. Adrian was awarded the Blackfoot Visual Arts Award in 2009, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003 and the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 for his human rights and diversity activism in various communities.
Elwood Jimmy is currently based in Toronto. He works as a programmer, curator, writer, community animator, and artist. Over the last two decades, he has been supported by several different organizations in building visual, media, and interdisciplinary projects that privilege collaboration, community-building, cross-cultural, and cross-generational interaction around a variety of historical and contemporary narratives. His cultural background, comprised of Nakawe (his mother) and Nehiyaw (his father), often plays a foundational role in his work.