Fire, Sacred Fire, 2021, digital media
TheCube Project Space
The last time I saw Peter Morin in person he handed me a small animal hide rattle and instructed me to make some noise. What can be accomplished by shaking a rattle and shouting? How about undoing the effects of hundreds of years of colonial violence? The venue for the rattle shaking was the Vancouver Art Gallery, a former provincial courthouse that oversaw laws that disenfranchised Indigenous peoples, Black folks, Asian folks, Queer folks, and women, and criminalized their culture(s), languages, and how they raised their children.
Morin, with his collaborator Ayumi Goto, and curator Tara Hogue, organized the usually subdued art-opening crowd into a raucous group of sacred messengers, challenging us to make enough noise to wake the ancestors and invite them back into that space. And wake them we did. For those willing to see, a crackling brightness attended the remainder of the opening as the spirits of those that once experienced harm were welcomed and given comfort.
The crackle and light have now left the log in Fire, Sacred Fire. As Morin puts it, “its transformation into warmth and medicine at the expense of its physicality” is done and the sweat lodge stones it heated have long since gone cold. So where is the sacred fire? Perhaps in the dance of pixels on a screen, a dematerialized digital transmission where once again the logs physicality is lost as it becomes a new medicine. Is it sacred? Perhaps, for those willing to see.
— Curator ｜Charles Campbell
(b. 1977, born in Prince George, Canada; based in Toronto) A grandson of Tahltan ancestor artists. Morin’s work highlights cross-ancestral collaboration and deeply considers the impact zones that occur between Indigenous ways of knowing and Western Settler Colonialism. Morin’s practice has spanned twenty years so far, with exhibitions in London, Berlin, Singapore, New Zealand, and Greenland, as well as across Canada and the United States. Morin currently holds a tenured appointment in the Faculty of Arts at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto.
Curator : Charles Campbell
Charles Campbell is a Jamaican born multidisciplinary artist, writer and curator. He has exhibited throughout North America, the Caribbean and Europe, representing Jamaica and Canada in events such as the Havana Biennial; Infinite Islands: Contemporary Caribbean Art, held at the Brooklyn Museum; Wrestling With the Image: Caribbean Interventions, held at the Art Museum of the Americas and Contemporary Jamaican Art, circa1962 | circa2012, held at the Art Gallery of Mississauga. Campbell has written for Frieze Magazine and is also a regular contributor to ARC Magazine, a Caribbean arts journal.