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LUX Salon: ‘I’ Statements

Sun 4 Jun 2017 / 4.30pm - 8.00pm

LUX, Waterlow Park Centre
Book online

In the context of Montreal artist Kim Kielhofner’s exhibition Reading Patters at LUX, Erik Martinson presents a programme of work by First Nations moving image artists. The screening will be followed by a discussion between Martinson, Kathryn Siegel and Carly Whitefield on Canadian artists’ moving image and its distinct trajectories and traditions.

‘I’ Statements are postulated somewhere between assertive and empathetic. Used in therapeutic as well as corporate lingo, they smooth requests—make them palatable—to anchor them in the personal so their user becomes relatable. Their attached demands, pills hard to swallow, are ushered through, coated with honey. That’s the idea. The inferred ‘you’ affected the speaking ‘I’ and something, a behaviour for example, needs to be acknowledged and likely modified.

‘I’ Statements are tools. Their tactical deployment provides a means for many ends. They can be coded in many ways. The works in this programme assert themselves: speaking, showing and complicating the relations of the ‘you’ and the ‘I’ on the spectrum the ‘I’ Statement operates on. Indigenous politics, identity, experience and sovereignty inform moving-image questions, requests and statements. Battling and breathing from the context of settler-colonialism in Canada, which includes macro and micro instances of racism, classism, sexism, and homophobia. There are many statements that need to be heard, ingested whether they are seasoned with pain and anger, or humour and hope, or a mix thereof. The works featured in ‘I’ Statements can come from the gut, and hit there too, but they also enact a simultaneous questioning of tropes, stereotypes, narrative and image-making conventions. They say things by saying them, but also by not saying them in highly coded and nuanced ways. Behaviours may be adjusted as a result.

Curated by Erik Martinson.

With work by: Shelley Niro, Thirza Cuthand, Mike MacDonald, Wanda Nanibush, Rebecca Belmore and Paul Wong, Ehren Bear Witness Thomas, Danis Goulet, Dana Claxton and Adam Garnet Jones.

4:30pm “I” Statements screening
6:00pm Erik Martinson in conversation with Kathryn Siegel and Carly Whitefield
7:00pm Reception organised by Canada House

With the support of Canada House and thanks to Gabriel Araujo, Vtape and CFMDC


The Shirt, Shelley Niro, 2003, 05:55

Helpless Maiden Makes An “I” Statement, Thirza Cuthand, 1999, 6:00

Rat Art, Mike MacDonald, 1990, 10:00

Arrivals and Departures, Wanda Nanibush. 2012. 05:15

VIGIL 5.4, Paul Wong, 2010, 8:29. Vigil performance by Rebecca Belmore, 2002

Woodcarver, Ehren BEARwitness Thomas. 2011. 05:44

Wakening, Danis Goulet, 2013, 08:51

Hope, Dana Claxton, 2007, 9:51

Secret Weapons, Adam Garnet Jones, 2008, 5:30

Works courtesy of Vtape and CFMDC, Toronto

About Erik Martinson

Erik Martinson (Canada/Latvia) is an independent curator and writer based in London, UK. He worked in Toronto at Vtape, a not-for-profit video art distributor from 2005-2014, and was a member of the Pleasure Dome curatorial collective from 2006-2014. He has curated screenings/exhibitions for The Images Festival (2012); A Space Gallery (2012); Art Gallery of Mississauga (2013); Institute of Contemporary Arts London (2015); Chalton Gallery (2016); DIY Space for London (2016); LUX (2016); and Contemporary Art Centre Vilnius (2016). He participated in the Independent Curators International (ICI) Curatorial Intensive on Time-Based Media, New York (2013) and was on the selection jury for Videonale.15 at Kunstmuseum Bonn (2015). He was assistant editor for the Nuclear Culture Source Book (edited by Ele Carpenter) published by Black Dog Publishing in partnership with Bildmuseet and Arts Catalyst (2016). Recently he completed his MFA in Curating at Goldsmiths, University of London (2016) and was in residence at Rupert, Vilnius (2016). erik-martinson.com

About Kathryn Siegel

Kathryn Siegel is a Canadian researcher and writer. She graduated from the MRes Art: Moving Image programme at Central Saint Martins and is currently undertaking a PhD between King’s College London and LUX. Her current research revisits historical discourses surrounding experimental film and video art in London after 1966 in order to conceptualize the role of artists’ writing and print publishing within independent moving image culture at the time.

About Carly Whitefield

Carly Whitefield is a curator and editor currently working as Assistant Curator of Film at Tate Modern. She graduated from the MRes Art: Moving Image programme from Central Saint Martins/LUX in 2015. Her research examines contemporary mobilisations of the lecture performance within cinematic practice as well as its longer history in proto-cinematic traditions. Before relocating to the UK, she was an Associate Programmer for the Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival and a board member for Pleasure Dome in Toronto.