The exhibition dates: January 9-26
opening reception will be January 8th @ 6:30
Artist talk :January 26 @ 6:30
Manuel Axel Strain is a Two-Spirited interdisciplinary artist of Musqueam, Secwepemc, and Syilx descent. He works with painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and video installations. Strain was raised in the suburban neighbourhood of Maple Ridge with little knowledge of what it meant to be a person of First Nations descent. This upbringing lead Strain to examine the construction of First Nations identities – in particular the internal conflicts that arise from imposed identity constructs. He aims to use his personal experiences a Two-Spirited First Nations person to try to promote social-political change. Through this personal exploration he hopes to help educate other people about the oppression First Nations people have and continue to endure. His practice confronts the impacts of colonial power paradigms that have been left upon the identities of the First Nations people of Canada. Strain is mainly concerned with post-colonial notions of hybridity, assimilation, cultural appropriation, double-consiencness and resistance. His purpose is to redefine his indigeneity to gain a greater sense of empowerment and break the cycle of inaccurate generalizations. He intends to move beyond the binary opposition of the colonizer and the colonized to establish new ontologies for the First Nations identity.
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