Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Vancouver Special Ambivalent Pleasures

Please look out for my new installation of paintings at the Vancouver Art Gallery as part of their Triennial exhibition Vancouver Special: Ambivalent Pleasures. Dec 3- April 17th 2017. "Accumulations of Moments Spent Under Water with the Sun and Moon"

photo credit Fiona Mowatt

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Performance in Saskatoon Oct 1st starts at 8pm at AKA Artist run centre then heads over to Riverside park

photo credit Rebecca Belmore

Occupy Anishinabe Park 1974 Charlene Vickers Performance Saturday October 1, 2016, evening
As part of Beyond the barrier of sound and soon, of light
In conjuction with Nuit Blanche Saskatoon

Occupy Anishinabe Park 1974 is a re-iteration of a performance by Charlene Vickers, originally staged in Vancouver. The performance quotes the 1974 occupation of Anicinabe Park, in Kenora, Ontario, by the Ojibway Warriors Society (OWS)

“In July 1974, the OWS organized a conference of the Ojibway Nation and ‘a day after the conference ended, news spread that one hundred fifty members of the Ojibway Warriors Society were armed and would not leave the park until it was liberated Indian territory.’ Effectively, Anicinabe Park had been sold to the City of Kenora in 1959 by the Federal Government without consent of the Ojibway Nation, who held claims to the territory. Almost two decades later, the park’s occupation had the objective to reclaim the land, but it also served as a pressure tactic to bring forward social justice claims. Notably, the occupation brought international attention to mercury poisoning of Northwestern Ontario waterbeds, which had devastating effects on populations of neighbouring Reserves.”[1]

The original performance compelled questions about sovereignty and Indigenous territory; Vickers, an Anishinabe artist originally from Ontario yet living in Vancouver, employed the political tactics of occupation as a means to assert her presence in the unceded land of Vancouver, which has been her home for over twenty years. This gesture linked the historical with the personal, and allowed the artist to collapse these typically-distinct forms of knowledge to present them in a broader geographic and political context.

This iteration of the performance, staged in Saskatoon, further complicates the relationship between birthplace, heritage, home, and the agency to assert ones presence through a politically charged use of the body. Through this performance, the historical weight of the original Anicinabe Park occupation is compounded with Vickers’s personal history as well as the dimensions of possibility for other iterations of asserting Indigenous presence across diverse colonial contexts.

photo credit Zenja Ivkovic

[1] Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte, Acts of Spatial Decolonization: On Occupation, Settlement and Ownership. decoy magazine, July 5, 2015.

Friday, September 23, 2016

A Very Broad and Poetic Artist Statement My cross disciplinary art practice includes mixed media beer case moccasins, performance, painting and sculptural installation, video and sound events to express memory as a conceptual and political site. My recent works become physical embodiments of memory as tangible markers of my Anishinabe territorial presence. “When walking through the core of downtown Vancouver I am expressing my embodied territory; within each step, a trace of my ancestors is present. I am thinking of my work and where I am from and how to maneuver through this world.”

Monday, June 27, 2016

BIO 2016

Charlene Vickers is an Anishnabe artist based in Vancouver, BC Canada. Recent solo exhibitions include "Asemaa/Tobacco" Artspeak and "Ominjimendaan/to remember" grunt gallery in Vancouver. Her work has exhibited across Canada and the United States and toured nationally in the group shows The Fifth World at the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon, (curated by Wanda Nanibush) and Custom Made at Kamloops Art Gallery (curated by Tania Willard); and can be seen in the permanent collections at the Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia. Charlene is an MFA grad at Simon Fraser University and is on the Board of Directors at grunt gallery. This past spring 2016, Vickers was selected as the inaugural artist in residence at Griffin Art Projects in North Vancouver creating a series of expansive abstract paintings, plus a new performance work with Chad MacQuarrie called Portals and Improvisations.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Doing well at the art studios at Griffin Art Projects! Some Thoughts On New Abstract Painted Works and Sound Events

Time Spent Under Water With The Sun And Moon is a new series of oil paintings on panel and mixed media paintings on paper. The focus of the work is the energy and contrasting colours moving through its in-the-moment moments act of painting. I am expressing a self-reclamation of territory and presence via surreal abstraction and psychedelic renditions of land and water. Formally the Zig Zag pattern structurally composes the rhythm and movement of the eye over the surface of the work while further anchoring my act of painting as a cultural gesture inspired by traditional quill embroidery. In thinking about the flatness of this work I am thinking of the life of the quill unto itself. Quills that once grew from the body of the porcupine are then hand-plucked, dyed, flattened and sewn to a hide in a folded over zig zag method. Transformation of the porcupine quill from defensive armour growing from a living body is then manipulated by hand into decorative embroidery is an invention of pure genius by my ancestors. I have been learning quill work and appreciate the level of patience and skill that you must develop over time. Repetition of the zig zag is an extension of this repetitious activity. Formally the zig zag organizes each work creating windows that frame depictions of mountains, suns, moons and water. The rhythm of each work echo patterns in nature, animals, and the cycles of life. These cycles inform my bodily presence that moves through natural and urban landscapes. How the zig zag paintings resonate, vibrate and buzz as abstraction has been further influenced by my explorations into electronic and improvised music. I have been using small electronic machines, Monotrons and Kaosillator pad, learning intuitively how to interact and improvise. I am further using electronics and noise music within performance as a way to open up the environment of the gallery space and to clear the energies surrounding my work. Through the electronic machines I am recalibrating and re-focusing the viewer’s visual acuity; challenging them to be involved in my sound event and perhaps to experience the work from a more embodied realm.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Artist Residency at Griffin Art Projects

Big thank you to Griffin Art Projects for inviting me to be their first artist in residence. I will be busy in the next three months so come for a visit. I will be showing some work from last year and will be making some new paintings. A possible performance will be in the works too.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Resurgent Gallery Happening with Maria Hupfield at the Cutting Copper: Indigenous Resurgent Practice Symposium, Vancouver. B.C. Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery

Resurgent Gallery Happening performance with Maria Hupfield at the Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery. Performance by Maria Hupfield and Charlene Vickers this past Saturday March 5th 2016 as part of the Cutting Copper: Indigenous Resurgent Practice gathering. Thanks to all visiting artists and presenters it was fine reconnecting and making new friends this weekend. Thanks to organizers Tarah Hogue and Shelley Rosenblum. Super fantastic fedoras Jeneen Frei Njootli! Many thanks to Rita Wong for transcribing the performance for us. Special thanks to Maria Hupfield for inviting me to collaborate, hang out, gab, eat, and catch up! Miigwetch Lady- you are one of the greats!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Please join me for the opening of The Fifth World at the Kitchen Waterloo Art Gallery this coming Friday January 22nd!