NEWS RELEASE - Future Memories (Present Tense): Contemporary Practices in Perspective

Future Memories (Present Tense): Contemporary Practices in Perspective

Exhibition, public programs, and symposium at ACAD’s Illingworth Kerr Gallery

Exhibition: October 6 until December 2, 2017

Opening: Thursday, October 5, 5–7pm

Symposium: October 4 – 5, 2017, for more information visit:

Calgary, Alberta, Canada – The Alberta College of Art + Design's (ACAD) Illingworth Kerr Gallery (IKG) is pleased to present a new group show entitled Future Memories (Present Tense) which brings together six contemporary Indigenous artists from different regions of Canada, whose work diversely challenges linear ideas of time through story-telling. Each artwork uniquely relates to the theme by either surfacing silenced narratives, deconstructing current dominant narratives, or imagining of a past yet to be.

The exhibition considers how history, tradition, and personal narratives inform the construction of one’s own cultural identity as this fluctuates and re-arranges itself continuously. The authorial voices included in the selection not only open a window on how Indigenous communities and individuals wish to represent and project themselves today but construct new scenarios, give shape to a possible future, poetically and politically rethinking our society in relation to selfhood. The six participating artists are Sonny Assu, Mark Igloliorte, Meryl McMaster, Peter Morin, Rolande Souliere, and Adrian Stimson.

Sonny Assu will be presenting two series of works on paper and a large mural that re-inscribe Western imagery as an act of visual and cultural re-appropriation. The artist intervenes on pre-existing images such as marine charts, comic books and iconic Emily Carr paintings by overlapping languages and codes that create a new hybrid scenario where past and future collide.

Mark Igloliorte’s presentation will focus instead on two diverse bodies of work: Dyptichs, a set of 69 paired oil paintings depicting studio vignettes painted from observation, and a large drawing from the series My Yellow Aquanaut 17’ 7”, representing a skateboard Igloliorte exhibited with a kayak design cut into the black grip tape. This piece is accompanied by the video Eskimo Roll (2017) where the artist succeeds and fails in performing the eponymous move in front of the camera, using the same kayak represented in the drawing.

Meryl McMaster will be showcasing 11 large photographic prints from different series, including Wanderings, where the artist embodies “dreamlike experiences [that] represent the state of being in-between the past and the future.” Or the Murmur series where McMaster explores the construction of collective identities of both Indigenous people and European Canadians in relation to time.

Peter Morin will be presenting documentation of performances such as the recent ancestors, we return to the land you loved so much (Tahltan Territory, 2017) or your stereotypes obscure a true vision of the land from 2014. Morin’s presentation in Calgary will also include a new mixed-media installation entitled linear histories/indigenous theory interrogating the category of time as a linear measure.

Rolande Souliere will premiere a new reiteration of Assimilate (2016-17), an installation that “utilizes the aesthetics of collage and combines Christian iconography, archival photographs, and Indigenous cultural imagery to address the instrumental role the church played in executing the assimilation processes, including the systematic removal of Indigenous children from their families [referenced in Australia as the Stolen Generation, and known in Canada as the Indian Residential School System].”

Adrian Stimson will unveil a new installation entitled Tsa aitotowa? (Blackfoot for "What time is it?) comprising an old tree, sandrocks, taxidermy, skeletons and other figures, and a video-projection. “I am here playing with ideas of time [says the artist]: Blackfoot mythologies and prophesies, a little bit of whimsical humour, in a Sci-Fi scenario, like right after the apocalypse…”

The exhibition at the IKG coincides with the overdue retrospective The Writing on the Wall: Works of Dr. Joane Cardinal-Schubert RCA (Sept. 21 – Dec. 16, 2017) organized by Nickle Gallery at the University of Calgary, with whom we are partnering for an extensive series of public programs that accompany both exhibitions.

The programs include a two-day symposium focusing on issues and themes relevant to the shows, hosted at ACAD, a day bus tour of Indigenous landmarks in and around the City of Calgary held on October 21, and Wikipedia writing workshops at both IKG and Nickle Galleries hosted in the institutions’ Indigenous student centers, as well as artist talkspanel discussions, and Curator’s tours.

For additional information and updates on these programmes check:

Made to coincide with the 150 Anniversary of the Canadian Confederation, these events celebrate our diverse cultures, as well as analyze what “being Canadian” means today, by reflecting on the complexities associated to the formation of our national identity. The project intends to create a safe space for a constructive and inclusive dialogue. One that accounts for a multiplicity of voices and surfaces silenced histories, whilst imagining possible collective futures.

The public programmes and symposium accompanying both exhibitions are supported by:

Funding for the Curatorial Internship in support of the development of these programmes at the IKG was provided by:

The exhibition at the Illingworth Kerr Gallery is made possible thanks to the contribution of an Art Patron who wishes to remain anonymous.


About the Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD)

Founded in 1926, ACAD has been a major contributor to Canada’s visual culture in the 20th century, with many of its graduates gaining significant national and international reputations as artists, designers and creative leaders. With an annual grant of just over $12 million, an annual budget of $20.6 million and employing over 200 staff, ACAD provides accredited degree standard education and learning opportunities to 1,200 students enrolled in full- and part-time studies in a wide range of art, craft and design studio disciplines. In addition to credentialed undergraduate degrees in a variety of program areas, the College offers a Masters of Fine Art in Craft Media, making it the only instutition in the Province to offer and confer university-level undergraduate and now, graduate degree programs.

For media information contact:

Marion Garden, Alberta College of Art + Design
t. 403.284.7643

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