A Necessary Fiction extends Jeff Thomas’s engagement with image-makers who have used Indigenous people as the subjects of their work, interrogating the relevance of such work in light of today’s self-determination movement. Employing the work of both George Hunter and Edward S. Curtis as a catalyst, Thomas presents an alternative to the hegemonic and static narratives they both construct and reinforce.
Thomas explores the role such archival images have played in the quest to define his place in the world, and aims to reshape the space of the gallery and the collections held therein into a locus for reimagining both the representation and lived experience of Indigenous peoples.
Jeff Thomas is an urban-based Iroquois, self-taught photo-based artist, writer, public speaker and curator, living in Ottawa, Ontario, who has works in major collections in Canada, the United States and Europe. His most recent solo shows were The Dancing Grounds, Wanuskewin Heritage Park, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, A Necessary Fiction: My Conversation with Nicholas de Grandmaison, University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Alberta, Ontario, and Resistance Is NOT Futile, Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, Ontario.
Thomas has also been in many group shows, including l:ke – Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989, Art Gallery of Ontario, Land/Slide: Possible Futures,Markham, Ontario, SAKAHÀN, National Gallery of Canada, UNMASKING: Arthur Renwick, Adrian Stimson, Jeff Thomas, Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris, France. In 1998, he was awarded the Canada Council’s prestigious Duke and Duchess of York Award in Photography and was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Art. In 2008, he received The Karsh Award in photography, and in 2017, Thomas received a REVAL Indigenous Art Award.
JUNE 29 – AUGUST 27, 2017
Curated by Laura Carusi, Curatorial and Collections Coordinator, AGM