David Garneau, “Grandfather Contemplating Western Ocularcentrism."
David Garneau (Métis), visual arts professor at the University of Regina, and Maureen Matthews, curator of Cultural Anthropology at the Manitoba Museum, share their understanding of relationships with artefacts.
Garneau makes conceptual still life paintings that consider the relationship between Indigenous knowledge and the academy and Indigenous belongings and museums. With Garnet Willis, he recently completed Heart Band, a digital, ten drum instrument whose heart beats are activated by human movement.
Matthews came to her understanding of objects that have relationships and act in the world through her work with elders of the community of Pauingassi, Manitoba, and with the help of her research colleague and Anishinaabemowin linguist friend, Roger Roulette, who translated their words and explained their meanings. She has since had a chance to put those understandings to work within the museum as a guardian of the Pauingassi collection; objects with long histories and multiple, demanding relationships which impose obligations on the museum and those who work there.
Maureen Matthews is the Curator of Cultural Anthropology at the Manitoba Museum where she has been developing exhibits and outreach projects with Manitoba Elders and Indigenous community members. These projects have won a Canadian Museums Association award, the Governor General’s medal for History, and a Guardian of Culture medal from the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums. Dr. Matthews is committed to a collaborative museum anthropology practice which emphasizes the importance of Indigenous languages.
David Garneau (Métis) is Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Regina. His practice includes painting, curation, and critical art writing. Garneau recently curated Kahwatsiretátie: The Contemporary Native Art Biennial (Montreal, 2020). He has recently given keynote talks in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and throughout Canada on issues such as: misappropriation, public art, museum display, and contemporary Indigenous art. His paintings are in numerous public and private collections.