Duane Linklater’s work interrogates the construct of museums, their conventions, and their historical exclusion of Indigenous content, working across a range of mediums to address the contradictions of contemporary Indigenous life within – and beyond – settler systems of knowledge, representation, and value. Duane Linklater: mymothersside brings together sculptures, video works, and digital prints on linen from the past decade of the artist’s practice, as well as a newly commissioned work for the MCA’s atrium.
The exhibition features sculpture and video that focus on enduring ancestral practices such as hunting and fur trading; digital translations of tribal objects held in institutional collections; and a series of large-scale structures made with teepee poles. The MCA presentation focuses on Linklater’s interest in Indigenous architecture through sculptures and paintings that deconstruct and reassemble one of the most ubiquitous symbols of indigeneity – the teepee. With his draped and folded teepee cover paintings, Linklater transforms the semicircular canvas wrapping of the traditional Cree home into a support for digitally printed imagery that he tints with natural dyes. Appearing amid these culturally significant forms and materials, references to the artist’s family, childhood home, and favorite bands, films, and garments suggest an expansive constellation of identifications that defies reductive notions of identity.
Duane Linklater: mymothersside was originally presented at the Frye Art Museum, Seattle, and was curated by Amanda Donnan, Chief Curator, Frye Art Museum. The presentation at the MCA Chicago is organized by Carla Acevedo-Yates, Marilyn and Larry Fields Curator, with Iris Colburn, Curatorial Assistant, MCA Chicago.