2010 & 2012: L’nuk (The People)

2010 & 2012: L’nuk (The People) with Jordan Bennett

The Other Gallery, Banff, Alberta
Anna Leonowens Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Nocturne: Art At Night Festival, Halifax, Nova Scotia
This piece was created at the Banff Art Centre (2010)
Technical equipment, pre-recorded music, custom made costumes and male dance pow wow regalia, quail eggs, ochre powdered pigment, dried plants, matches, bowls, potato chips, ribbons, water bottles.
L’nuk (The People) is an endurance performance piece created in collaboration by artists Jordan Bennett and Ursula Johnson while in residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

The piece covers a variety of topics, such as:

  1. Private vs. Public
  2. Cultural Identity
  3. Pan-Indianism
  4. Historical Context of the Role of the Aboriginal Storyteller

To create awareness on the struggle that young Aboriginal peoples have today with regards to the search for their identities. Especially the Young Mi’kmaq people, whose cultural traditions are often appropriated from other Aboriginal nations and tribes from across Turtle Island.

The space continues to change as the performance evolves over the week. In the beginning of the performance the space will be an empty space with limited technical set up.

The space that Bennett occupies utilizes a surplus of lighting and a surround speaker system with an amp that he operates a digital audio device from. He employs microphone suspended from the ceiling to welcome people in to the gallery space and invites them to dance with him all the while encouraging those who wander into Johnson’s space to “Stay away from there, nothing to see there folks”. The props that Bennett brings into the space during the week add to the refuse on the floor, which becomes a part of the exhibition.

The space that Johnson occupies uses minimal lighting and no technical equipment. The actions with the natural pigments that Johnson works with throughout the performance fills the visual space on the walls in the manner of imprints of her body using the natural pigments she creates in the space. Also a pungent aroma fills the space throughout the week from the natural pigments which consist of raw quail eggs, ochre and the burning of dried plants.

Johnson and Bennett invite the public to an “artist talk” which is hosted in the form of a sharing circle to discuss the topics addressed in the performance throughout the week.

Artist Statement
Curriculum Vitae

Images: Anfia Lin (Still of props on blanket)
Images: Angella Parsons (Performance Documentation)