Memory v.2 by Archer Pechawis

Friday / Sep 17 / 10
7:00 pm

A Space Gallery
110-401 Richmond Street West

Opening of exhibition: 7-10pm
Performance at 7:30pm
Archer Pechawis

Co-presented by A Space Gallery, imagineNATIVE Film and Media Art Festival and FADO Performance Art Centre, Memory V2 is a performance by Archer Pechawis, curated by Cheryl L'Hirondelle and presented in the context of the exhibition Re:counting coup presented during the 2010 imagineNATIVE Film and Media Art Festival.


Memory V2 is a re-visitation of memory, both literally and figuratively. “Memory,” was a performance investigating the meaning of "traditional" in contemporary First Nations culture, which I originally presented in March 1997 at the Western Front gallery in Vancouver.

Quoting from my original artist statement, "this performance investigates the notion of what constitutes 'traditional' Native drumming and singing through the use of a hand drum into which I have incorporated trigger pads that activate a digital sampler. Simply put, if I drop a Motörhead sample into a round dance tune, is it still traditional? Cum on, feel the noize, heya heya ho..."

The performance featured a hand drum wired to a sampler via MIDI, which enabled me to drop various audio samples in to the mix while I sang neo-traditional songs of my own composition. The primary samples used in the original piece were from audiocassettes recorded in 1979 of my deceased grandfather Thomas Pechawis drumming and singing.  I also used videotaped interviews of two elders, Bill Lightbown (Kutenai) and the late Harriet Nahanee (Coast Salish) describing "what is traditional?” Other audio sources included samples of Jimi Hendrix, Soundgarden, The O'Jays, and The Fugees.

With this re-versioning, thirteen years of perspective and technology developments later, the concept has taken on different meanings; our evolving culture(s) are defined as much by what is remembered as what is not.  Some of the original questions have been answered, and new questions -- such as the future of our increasingly hybridized selves -- have risen to the surface. In Memory V2, it is my good fortune to be working with the very best of materials: the lasting words of my elders, juxtaposed with today’s riffs on the ever-present beat – the “disposable” pop music samples. We have never gone far from the drum.  Whatever its form, it still connects us to the core of who we are. Contemporary Aboriginal life is First Nations worldview and rock ’n’ roll.

~Archer Pechawis



RE:counting coup
With works by: KC Adams, Jordan Bennett, James Luna, Archer Pechawis, Lisa Reihana
Curated by Cheryl L’Hirondelle

September 17 - October 30, 2010
Opening: September 17, 6:30 to 8:30 PM
Archer Pechawis Performance: September 17, 7:30 PM
Curator Talk and reception: October 22, 5:30 to 7:30 PM
Artist Panel (Miles Nadal Centre): October 23, 10:00 – 11:15 AM

A Space Gallery and imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival are very pleased to present RE:counting coup, a new media exhibition that looks at the relational history of indigenous object making with that of a contemporary visual and new media art practice. Curated by Cheryl L’Hirondelle, this group exhibition profiles innovative works by KC Adams, Jordan Bennett, James Luna, Archer Pechawis and Lisa Reihana. These artists’ work attests to Indigenous ingenuity with the realization of performative objects, installations and events that move far beyond what has been over-simplified as solely an orally centered transmission processes to that of an ever-evolving and inventive multi-media tradition.

Photo credit: James Luna, Electric Rattle (2000)

A Space Gallery Hours:
Tuesday - Friday: 11am - 6pm
Saturday 12pm - 5pm



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