Boarder X
July 7 to October 21, 2018

Boarder X brings together interdisciplinary contemporary art from artists of Indigenous nations across Canada who surf, skate and snowboard. In this exhibition these practices are vehicles to challenge conformity and status quo, as well as demonstrate knowledge and performed relationships with the land.

Reading the urban terrain, making a cement jungle a playground, riding the natural contours of the white immovable mountains or shredding the ever-changing waves: these are responses to the land. It is not about controlling land and water, but being humbled by their power. Beyond claiming space, the artwork recognizes human existence in relation to vast geographies and how we’ve thrived in those spaces. Surfing has a long history of Indigenous ways of being, originating from pre-contact Polynesian cultures. Skateboarding and snowboarding emerged beginning in the 60s and 80s respectively which for a time were popular in subcultures resisting the mainstream.

Boarder X celebrates the intersection of culture, art and boarding practices. The artwork produced embodies how the artists relate to environmental and cultural landscapes. Its representation is interdisciplinary consisting of painting, mixed media, carving, weaving, photography, performance and video to reflect cultural, political, environmental and social perspectives, and critiques in relation to the territories we occupy. The paintings present narratives and observations of traditions, movement, balance and entanglement of space, place and belonging. The artwork mobilizes traditional histories, conceptually bridging the past and present through reinventions in carving, weaving and performance. Video and photography capture the energy and heightened sense of vitality with unbridled motivation and physicality. This has always served to influence and inform youth and practitioners alike regarding boarding in magazines and videos.

This exhibition presents cultural thrivence of active presence-creating a space for active engagement through art, culture and boarding. It is an affirmation and transmission of cultural resilience and acknowledgement of ongoing respect and reverence for the land.