Logan MacDonald: Bæōdut / Hidden Histories
Note: Level 2.5 is not wheelchair accessible.
Hidden Histories is an artistic response by Logan MacDonald to experiencing the collections of Indigenous artifacts housed at The Rooms. The artworks speak to MacDonald’s Indigenous ancestral connections, specifically navigating issues of belonging and acknowledging cultural erasure. He critically examines how Indigenous artifacts are collectively held and defined within an institutional repository, while imagining further personal ancestral connections to the cultural production of these material items. MacDonald creatively blurs the lines between cultural fact and family fiction, inserting an examination of his own Indigenous ancestry into the institutional framework of archiving Indigenous belongings.
From these pursuits, MacDonald situates an aesthetic body of work from within a colonial institutional infrastructure, contextualizing how past and present ancestral lineage and cultural production can simultaneously coexist and be disconnected. MacDonald’s work digs deep in raising critical questions around how colonial control has defined and continues to define Indigenous histories, perspectives, and bodies.
About the artist:
Logan MacDonald is a queer Canadian-based artist, curator, and educator of European and Mi’kmaq ancestry. Born in Summerside, PEI, his maternal Mi’kmaq ancestry extends from the Elmastukwek, Ktaqamkuk. His work has been exhibited across North America, notably with exhibitions at L.A.C.E. (Los Angeles) John Connelly Presents (New York), Ace Art Inc. (Winnipeg), and Articule (Montréal). He is currently Vice-Chair of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective and Assistant Professor of Indigenous Arts at the University of Waterloo. MacDonald has been longlisted for the 2019 Sobey Art Award. http://www.artlogan.com/new.html
Note: The term Bæōdut is a Beothuk word meaning ‘to go outdoors’. It is included here as both an action and a demand. It also mirrors the artists’ subjective experience of situating himself on the shoreline of Red Indian Lake (in Central Newfoundland), speculatively following in the footsteps of Shanawdithit (one of the last known Beothuk) and the rest of their community. The term was sourced from Albert S. Gatschet’s text The Beothuk Indians, c. 1885, and further corroborated by John Hewson’s comparative study Beothuk Vocabularies, 1978.
Image: Logan MacDonald, Installation detail from Bæōdut / Hidden Histories (2019) Digital photograph on Arch Board. 54.6 x 54.6 cm. Courtesy the artist.