Just Powers Podcast

Performing Sovereignty—S2E4

In this episode we will be reading “Performing Sovereignty: Forces to be Reckoned With” by Dr. Carla Taunton.

This text is included in the edited collection More Caught in the Act: An Anthology of Performance Art by Canadian Women, edited by Johanna Householder and Tanya Mars, and published by Artexte in 2016. More Caught in the Act includes 29 comprehensive profiles of artists from across Canada, along with five contextual essays that place current performance strategies by women within broader art historical and cultural contexts. In the text by Dr. Taunton, she provides a critical account of several performance art interventions by Indigenous artists to explore the ways in which Indigenous performance art is connected to customary practices of transmitting histories, knowledges and cosmologies.

“Indigenous women’s performances tell important stories about their lived experiences while fuelling a dialogue about historic and contemporary individual and collective identities. Established performance artists such as Rebecca Belmore, Lori Blondeau, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, and Dana Claxton have claimed space for, supported, and mentored (a) new generation(s) of performance-based artists, among them: Ursula Johnson, Amy Malbeuf, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Maria Hupfield, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Caroline Monnet, Skeena Reece, and Jamie Black. Taken together, their performances explore Indigenous embodied practice and cultural knowledge, providing potent examples of performance-based assertions of self-determined representation, cultural continuance, and sovereignty” (Taunton, 2016, p. 35).

The complete anthology is available in hard copy through the Artexte website, at https://artexte.ca/en/editions/more-caught-in-the-act/.

Reference: Taunton, Carla. “Performing Sovereignty: Forces to be Reckoned With” In More Caught in the Act, Johanna Householder & Tanya Mars (eds), pp. 34-55. Toronto: Artexte, 2016.