Jason Baerg: ᓭᓭᓯᐤ / Sêsêsiw / Yellow Legs
Feb 21 - Mar 21, 2020
Fazakas Gallery, 688 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC
Fazakas Gallery is pleased to present ᓭᓭᓯᐤ / Sêsêsiw / Yellow Legs, a solo exhibition by Jason Baerg (Cree Métis).
Jason Baerg's relational painting installations and experimental media works respond to his ancestral homeland by extending the visual language of Indigenous Abstraction. Through abstraction and interplay of form, pieces such as Ka semakamok kîkway ᑲ ᓭᒪᑲᒧᐠ ᑮᑲᐧᕀ / Projection (Morning Star) and Umpehdu weeunpe dooweh eyeh / He who paints the day (Thunderbird) present expansive three-dimensional forms as they hover across white walls. Meanwhile, works such as Pimohceskanas ᐱᒧᐦᒉᐢᑲᓇᐢ / Pathway and Ka Wâsekwahk ᑲ ᐋᐧᓭᑲᐧᕁ / Sky Blue - sizeable figures in their own right - are grounded on the gallery floor, activating a connection between the earth and the artworks themselves.
This recent body of work first came to fruition by invitation from the artist-run centre Neutral Ground in Regina in 2019. The artworks were made while in conversation with two community leaders, Paulette and Marcella Poitras, Indigenous knowledge keepers and storytellers. During the exhibition's iteration in Regina, Baerg notes:
"Lee Maracle, a Sto:lo author, describes Story as an entity that finds its Teller. Through this space of understanding, I welcome visits from the Indigenous ancient stewards of this place to participate in the collaboration of a new body of paintings and a new media projection. I open myself up to what has to be said and heard through this process in Skype and cell conversations with local Regina Indigenous people (who are also welcomed into this creation space) as the work is in production."
As inspiration from Cree cosmology and Indigenous futurities animate the pieces, they become portals and guides to explore traditional knowledge, their viewers becoming participants in an experience of connection and exchange.