In Focus: Wanda Nanibush

Art History Lectures

Thursday, December 19, 2019
7:00 – 8:30 pm

Frye Auditorium

Pre-registration for this series has ended. Please see Single Ticket policy below for remaining lectures.

Performance is an act of cultural and political resistance as well as a means of remembrance and commemoration. It offers glimpses of a forgotten past, and uses creative fiction as a force against colonial narratives of capture, savagery, loss, and disappearance. Contemporary artists contend with the legacy of colonial representations as well as the legacy of cultural performance by utilizing a variety of aesthetic strategies such as reenactment, remixing, memorialization, mimicry, parody, masquerade, and portraiture. They return to the history of performing ‘Indian’ and its conundrums to recuperate the erased and objectified performer as an ancestor, an artist, and an Indigenous subject. Through this return they seek to understand their own relationship to performing culture in a contemporary art context, often turning the gaze back on to an audience and making the colonial desires that underpin colonial imagery visible. Lastly, some of the artists use performance itself as an entry point in rewriting colonial historical narratives from an Indigenous point of view.


Wanda Nanibush is an Anishinaabe-kwe image and word warrior, curator, and community organizer. She is the inaugural Curator of Indigenous art and co-head of the Indigenous & Canadian Art department at the Art Gallery of Ontario. She has a master’s degree in visual studies from the University of Toronto and has taught graduate courses on Indigenous history and politics at the University of Toronto and OCADU. Nanibush is currently writing a book called “Violence No More: The Rise of Indigenous Women” and finishing a film on Indigenous resistance.

Generous support for the program In Focus: Contemporary First Nations and Native American Women Artists and Curators is provided by the Snoqualmie Tribe.


Tickets to individual lectures may be available the day of the lecture on a space-available basis. Standby is first-come, first-served, one hour prior to the lecture. Individual tickets Members: $16; Non-members: $24.


Continuing-education credits and clock hours are available to educators through Seattle Pacific University (SPU). Payments for fees are paid directly to SPU online. All registered participants will receive the necessary information to register one week in advance of the start of the lecture series. Do not include payment for fees with your registration. Lecture Series: $15 for five clock hours.


The Frye Art Museum reserves the right to cancel any lecture series. If the Museum cancels a course or class, a full refund will be issued. If participant cancels enrollment more than two weeks prior to start date, a full refund will be issued, less a $25 processing fee. No refunds issued with less than two weeks’ notice. To cancel registration, call 206 432 8200 between 9 am–5 pm Monday–Friday.