Editorial: Syphon 3.3

Syphon 3.3, our second issue in 2016, reflects on contemporary Indigenous arts practices within and across Turtle Island. This issue is to a significant extent a collective effort, and as with any collective effort it involved a great degree of consultation and collaboration; it was motivated by interactions with artists at both Artspace and Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre, by conversations with Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, by the collective input of Modern Fuel’s new Editorial Committee, and of course through the many artists and writers who contributed to this issue.

We are excited to have a greater emphasis on artist projects in this issue—perhaps unsurprisingly given that it was organized by two artist-run centres. With this format, the periodical serves as an exhibition space unto itself, featuring artist projects by Dylan Miner (Métis) and Angela Marie Schenstead (Nēhiyaw and mixed-European ancestry), as well as poetry by Armand Garnet Ruffo (Ojibway) and Layli Long Soldier (Oglala Lakota). While Angela Marie Schenstead’s drawing Tumbling Glacier (one, two, three) is contemplative—almost ethereal—Dylan Miner’s print No Pipelines on Indigenous Land is more direct, even indignant. Yet both express the value, significance and meaning of our relationship to the land, a concern that continues through much of the issue.

This issue also provided a platform for an expanded and reworked version of Ellyn Walker’s essay on the work of Tanya Lukin Linklater, originally published as an exhibition essay for Lukin Linklater’s exhibition Neither Nor at Modern Fuel in the summer of 2016. In this text Walker reflects on ways of approaching and understanding Lukin Linklater’s work, through which multiple voices and meanings resonate. With poetry by nayyirah waheed woven throughout Walker’s text, she furthers this resonance, inviting the reader to determine their own connection between Walker and waheed’s writing.

This resonance continues through Miranda Ramnares’ interview with Dylan Robinson (Stó:lō). While the conversation moves from a discussion of the lack of Indigenous representation in public art to the range of responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the significance of these histories and the broader work of decolonization is a thread that runs throughout the interview. We are also glad to have the interview introduce many readers to the new Centre for Indigenous Research Creation at Queen’s University, which—despite not being ‘official’ yet—has already served as a platform for numerous artists and engaging discussions of Indigenous arts practices across the region.

This issue was co-produced by Modern Fuel and Artspace, and coedited by Jon Lockyer (Director, Artspace), Judith Popeil (Editorial Committee, Modern Fuel), Michael DiRisio (Artistic Director, Modern Fuel) and Teresa Carlesimo (Editorial Committee, Modern Fuel).


Citation: Editorial, Syphon Issue 3.3 (Fall 2016), Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre and Artspace.

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