WAASAWAABAAMINA | PROPHECIES
301 1/2 Bank Street, Ottawa K2P 1X7
prophecy, n. That which is done or spoken by a prophet; the action or practice of revealing or expressing the will or thought of God or of a god; divinely inspired utterance or discourse.
Regardless of the historical traumas it enacts, settler society commonly maintains an ongoing fascination with Indigenous prophets and their prophecies. Although this attraction is one aspect of colonial amnesia, this process nonetheless imbues aboriginal spirituality with a sense of pre-modern alchemy, while simultaneously dismissing the actual belief in Indigenous religiosity. Two thousand twelve (2012) becomes an ideal time to re-interrogate Indigenous prophesy from an anti-colonial and indigenist perspective. This year is marked by the supposed end-of-days prophecies of the Maya and Hopi alongside the two-hundredth anniversary of the War of 1812, a conflict precipitated by the pan-Indigenous prophesies of Tenskwatawa, also known as ‘The Prophet’, and Tecumseh.
Twenty eleven (2011) marked the bicentennial of Tecumseh’s Rebellion, the Indigenous resistance movement that led to the War of 1812. Louis Riel’s nineteenth-century prophesizing among prairie Métis lead many Anglo-Canadian historians to see him as mentally unstable. For the exhibition Prophecies, artist Dylan Miner turns to these historic antecedents, among others, as points of entry into Indigenous resistance and the prophetic visions of the ancestors. Using printmedia, installation, and art as social practice, Miner loosely conceptualizes ‘prophecies’ as ongoing teachings that enable us to directly confront globalization, colonialism, and capitalism. As a new body of work, Prophecies interrogates Indigenous and anti-colonial history in the US-Canada borderlands as a way to bring these events into the present.