The Centre for All Canadians
Untitled 4, 2001, colour photograph on paper Collection of the artist
Untitled 4, 2001, colour photograph on paper Collection of the artist

Ruth Cuthand: Back Talk (Works 1983-2009)

Untitled 4, 2001, colour photograph on paper Collection of the artist
Untitled 4, 2001, colour photograph on paper Collection of the artist
A mid-career retrospective of one of Saskatchewan's most significant contemporary artists. Cuthand explores, through a mix of humour, storytelling, and political invective, the complex interplay between native and colonial identity.
Untitled 4, 2001, colour photograph on paper Collection of the artist
Untitled 4, 2001, colour photograph on paper
Collection of the artist

As an artist, teacher and cultural activist, Ruth Cuthand continues to be an influential figure among Saskatchewan artists and First Nations artists across the country. Ruth Cuthand: Back Talk (works 1983-2009) is the first mid-career retrospective of the Saskatchewan Cree artist and the first to circulate outside Saskatchewan.

For more than 30 years, Ruth Cuthand has been challenging mainstream perspectives on colonialism and the relationships between “settlers” and Natives in a practice marked by political invective, humour, and a deliberate rawness of style.

Cuthand, who was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, in 1954, is of Plains Cree and Scottish ancestry. Her works “talk back” to mainstream media and colonial society, addressing the frictions between cultures, the failures of representation, and the political uses of anger in Canada.

Cuthand’s stylistic crudeness suits her consideration of politics-one that counters the stereotype of Canada as the great polite nation. Rudimentary stenciling of text on image is a hallmark of her work. It parodies notions of “Indians” as unlearned, tips its hat towards governmental anonymity, and speaks simply and humorously to non-Aboriginal audiences who otherwise may not “get it.”

The 1876 Indian Act was passed into law as a means to protect, civilize and assimilate the Indian population. Today it remains a barrier to improvement in First Nations standards of living and a paternalistic system of governance devoid of transparency. Ruth Cuthand’s work challenges the situation by exposing the inequities that have plagued for centuries Canada’s relationship with its First Peoples, while proudly claiming her complex and self-determined aboriginal identity, independent of any Indian Act.

Curated by Jen Budney. A co-production of the Mendel Art Gallery and Tribe, Inc.

In this video feature, Ruth Cuthand and exhibition curator, Jen Budney, explore the exhibition and elaborate on Cuthand’s practice  http://www.mendel.ca/2011/ruth-cuthand-artist-feature  

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Box Office

Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  |  Sundays & Evening Performances: The Box Office opens 2.5 hours prior to each performance. Please call 1.800.565.0278 or 902.566.1267 for information.

Mavor’s Restaurant

Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.  |  Friday – Saturday  11 a.m. – 11 p.m.  |  Sunday Closed
Please call 902.628.6107 for information.

Showcase Gift Shop

Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |   Sunday Closed
Please call 902.628.6149 for information.

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