Jun 21, 2012
[Image: via Kate Cino]
Closing Reception: Tuesday, Jun 26, 7pm
Location: 510 Fort Street, 2nd floor, Victoria, British Columbia
On June 26, Open Space is pleased to host islands: an installation to honour the spirit of Lewkungen, a closing event for Emilio Portal’s current installation.
Since May 14, Portal has dedicated his artwork islands as an evolving installation and performance site to honour the deep histories of the Land (called Victoria). With islands, we witnessed Portal’s meditations on what it means to be a guest on Lewkungen territory; questioning what is our shared settler history, and his documentation of 150 years of Victoria.
Portal’s revolving performance shaped the distance between islands. With his 208 planks of cedar, Portal built many sites for our gathering. These structures made of cedar became the heart of the community. Over the course of the installation, we have witnessed The Emerald Forest, Understanding Aboriginal Art in Canada Today, and on June 9 we gathered in a circle to share the ideas about how to be a good guest on the land of the Lewkungen peoples.
Emilio Portal will present a very special performance to complete his project.
What could be possible in a world where we all acknowledged the experience, knowledge and wisdom of the local indigenous peoples?
If we are so concerned with sustainability, why then are we not looking to the People who were able to sustain themselves for thousands of years – from the beginning of all time?
Emilio Portal, 2012
Inspired by colonial and indigenous histories connected to the site of Victoria, artist Emilio Portal unveils the new installation islands at Open Space. Portal is a recent graduate of the MFA program at UVIC. He received a BFA from the Laurentian University in 2005, and a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Dalhouise in 2007.
On May 14, 2012, Portal begins the installation of islands in the gallery. islands is an on-going performance that honours the Lekwungen peoples of Vancouver Island. Through a series of creative acts, Portal performs a respect to the land, and the remnants of history that lies underneath.
As this performance unfolds we become witnesses to the creation of an interstitial space of transformation and ceremony. Portal’s islands float into existence to become a new ground, a new ground on which we can respond to the land in deep and meaningful ways. The islands exhibition transforms Open Space into a site of honouring, memorial, and remembering ancient histories.