Performance: (de)composition with Ursula Johnson and Lisa Myers

6 July, 2022, 6:00pm

Photo: Indigenous Butterfly and Pollinator Garden, Dalhousie University campus, September 2022. Photo by Camille-Zoe Valcourt-Synnott.

(De)composition is a performance about longing for contact, using the existence of underground networks of mycelia as a metaphor. Their performance will consider ideas of connectivity that are explored within the Gallery, in the garden, and through other forms of plant life growing on the Dalhousie campus.

Lisa Myers is an artist and independent curator. She is an associate Professor in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change at York University and holds a York Research Chair in Indigenous Art and Curatorial Practice. As a curator and artist with a keen interest in interdisciplinary collaboration, her research focuses on Contemporary Indigenous art considering the varied values and functions of elements such as medicine plants and language, sound, and knowledge. Through many media and materials including socially engaged art approaches, her art practice examines place, underrepresented histories/present/futures, and collective forms of knowledge exchange. Myers is a member of Beausoleil First Nation and is based in both Toronto and Port Severn, ON.

Ursula Johnson is a performance and installation artist of Mi’kmaw First Nation ancestry. She graduated from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design and has participated in over 30 group shows and 5 solo exhibitions. Her performances are often place-based and employ cooperative didactic intervention. Through the medium of durational performance art she enters into laborious tasks/circumstances that create repetitive strain on her body and mind while creating tension with the viewer.

Johnson won the Sobey Art Award in 2017 and has been selected as a finalist for the Salt Spring National Art Prize. She has presented publicly in lectures, keynote addresses and hosted a number of community forums around topics of ‘Indigenous Self-Determination through Art’ and the ‘Environmental Responsibility and Sustainability in Contemporary Indigenous Art Practices’.