KINDER MORGEN | CHILDREN OF TOMORROW | steÊ”É™xÊ·É™É¬ Ê”É™ Æ›Ì“ wÉ™ weyÉ™lÉ™s
An exhibition of new work by Nancy Bleck (Slanay Spâ€™akâ€™wus) in collaboration with the Tsleil Waututh Nation Sacred Trust.
New photographic works by Nancy Bleck created in collaboration with the Tsleil Waututh Nation are on view at the Seymour Art Gallery from August 12 â€“ September 12, 2015.
Kinder Morgen in the German language directly translates as â€˜Children Tomorrowâ€™, and artist Nancy Bleck calls up this meaning alongside the name â€˜Kinder Morganâ€™ as an energy corporation.
Says Bleck: â€œI am grateful to the Tsleil Waututh people I have come to know, and I am honoured to contribute through photography and in the larger work of learning how to become better stewards of where we live through their strong example.â€
Through her exhibition, titled in part â€œKinder Morgenâ€, which in the German language directly translates into English as â€˜Children Tomorrow,â€™ Bleck ironically makes reference to the Texas-based energy corporation, and includes this same phrase for Children of Tomorrow in the Tsleil Waututh language â€” steÊ”É™xÊ·É™É¬ Ê”É™ Æ›Ì“ wÉ™ weyÉ™lÉ™s â€” as a way to align with the indigenous cultural world-view of how things get done, always with an eye toward the seven generations yet unborn. And of course, Kinder Morganâ€™s local facility is in full view from the Community and is on Tsleil Waututh lands.
Hay ce:p qÌ“É™ si:yÌ“emÌ“, Councillor Charlene Aleck, Ts’simtelot, of the Tsleil Waututh Nation says: “Over the past 4-5 years Tsleil Waututh has been consistent with our message to big corporations doing business in our traditional territory. We have been stewards of our land and water since time out of mind and that has sustained for decades! We want our voice to be heard, our story to be told. In joining Nancy Bleck (Slanay Spâ€™akâ€™wus) gives us a beautiful opportunity to do just that!”
Through panoramic photographs intercepted with portraits of community members, Bleck, also known by her Coast Salish adopted name, Slanay Spâ€™akâ€™wus, considers the local waters of the Burrard Inlet and the Tsleil Waututh cultural practice of stewardship. This collaborative project asks visitors to consider how a vision of sustainability can be practiced across cultures, across generations, and over time.
As part of the show, a 10-minute sound piece was created in collaboration with MÃ©tis-Cree media artist Kamala Todd, in conversation with Tsleil Waututh elders Deanna George and Ernest George, speaking to the youth of today.
Says Todd: “Having grown up in beautiful Coast Salish territory, I have learned so many stories, and I am so grateful to live here. Tsleil Waututh people have taught me so much about our responsibilities to the land and waters. My family and I stand with the Tsleil Waututh Nation in their commitment to protecting this place for all.”
Bleck adds: â€œWe have something so precious here on the coast worth taking a stand for and that is the wealth and health of the waterways and lands. The Tsleil Waututh culture and governance inspires me; theyâ€™re like a bright light in dark times and shows us a way forward.â€
About the Artist
Nancy Bleck (Slanay Spâ€™akâ€™wus): Born in 1969, Toronto, Canada | Daughter of immigrants from Berlin, Germany. Nancy Bleckâ€™s interests in contemporary photography and social practice are informed by feminist philosophy, sustainable and indigenous cultures.
Co-founder of the Uts’am/Witness project (1997-2007), Bleck was adopted by the Squamish Nation with the name â€˜Slanay Sp’ak’wusâ€™ in 2001 |Recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction award in the category of Arts, Culture and Design (2007) | A hardcover book titled ‘Picturing Transformation, Newx-ayanstut’, showcasing her photography over fifteen years, (Figure 1 Publishing, 2013)| She holds a BFA, (Emily Carr University), MA in Fine Art (MaHKU, The Netherlands), and is an educator at Emily Carr University, Vancouver, BC, Canada | Nancy has worked in the field of visual arts in cities worldwide including, Toronto, Berlin, Prague, Utrecht, and currently, Vancouver, BC, Coast Salish lands.