Leah Decter


durational performance and performance ephemera
curator: Tania WIllard
Thousand Island National Park

unbecoming was a durational performance that took place in Thousand Islands National Park over the course of a summer weekend as part of LandMarks 2017. It grapples with the ways cultural appropriation, forms of tourism and recreation, and the bonds between Canadian identity and ‘wilderness’ contribute to Canada’s ongoing occupation of Indigenous lands, both on the part of the state and settler citizens. It is one of a series of works enlisting the canoe, which, as a form of Indigenous technology and culture that has been rebranded as ‘Canadian,’ demonstrates consumptive colonial habits - both historic and contemporary.  Drawing on the Thousand Island’s trans-border geography and history, unbecoming links the area’s reputation as a wilderness playground in the ‘Gilded Age’ of the 1800s with its present day status as a Canadian National Park to shine a light on the thin veneer of Canadian civility that works to obscure the settler colonial present.

unbecoming performance ephemera as installed in the solo exhibition, wake at Campbell River Art Gallery, 2017

Exhibition Essay for wake
Link to: In the Wake: Unsettling settler colonialsim
by Carla Taunton

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