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Cree Visual Artist Depicts Truth on Indigenous History

Kent Monkman is an interdisciplinary Cree visual artist. A member of Fisher River Cree Nation in Treaty 5 Territory (Manitoba), he lives and works in Dish With One Spoon Territory (Toronto, Canada).

Kent Monkman’s monumental painting Miss Chief’s Wet Dream explores the Guswenta or Two Row Wampum Treaty, a Haudenosaunee-Dutch alliance formed in 1613. An homage to French history painting, the maritime scene mythologizes early relations established between Indigenous peoples and European settlers on Turtle Island. Painted at a scale of 144" x 288" (12 feet by 24 feet), Miss Chief’s Wet Dream takes inspiration from artistic masters both Indigenous and European. This painting is a part of the collection of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in Halifax.

This video was uploaded to YouTube just days following a historical vote recorded by Indian Country Today from Pine Ridge, South Dakota:

The Oglala Sioux tribal council voted in favour of the law in a council meeting earlier this month.
Under tribal law, hate crimes committed by people of the Oglala Sioux Tribe are now punishable by up to one year in jail

September 30, 2019

Kent, known for his provocative interventions into Western European and American art history, Monkman explores themes of colonization, sexuality, loss, and resilience—the complexities of historic and contemporary Indigenous experiences—across painting, film/video, performance, and installation. Monkman’s gender-fluid alter ego Miss Chief Eagle Testickle often appears in his work as a time-traveling, shape-shifting, supernatural being who reverses the colonial gaze to challenge received notions of history and Indigenous peoples.

Monkman’s painting and installation works have been exhibited at institutions such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal; Musée d’artcontemporain de Montréal; The National Gallery of Canada; Crystal Bridges Museumof American Art; Hayward Gallery; Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art; Musée d’art Contemporain de Rochechouart; Maison Rouge; Philbrook Museum of Art; and Palais de Tokyo. He has created site-specific performances at The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Royal Ontario Museum; Compton Verney, Warwickshire; and The Denver Art Museum. Monkman has had two nationally touring solo exhibitions, Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience (2017-2020), and The Triumph of Mischief (2007-2010).

Monkman’s short film and video works, collaboratively made with Gisèle Gordon, have screened at festivals such as the Berlinale (2007, 2008) and the Toronto International Film Festival (2007, 2015). Monkman is the recipient of the Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (2017), an honorary doctorate degree from OCAD University (2017), the Indspire Award (2014), and the Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award (2014). Find his CV in the links below.

Artist Kent Monkman at the 2017 Creative Time Summit: Of Homelands and Revolution

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