FADO is pleased to present a new performance work by Lori Blondeau. Entitled Feast and/or Famine, the artist creates an image of the hard at work Indian Princess/Squaw, preparing the fire and gathering place, juxtaposed with a modern day feast (the BBQ) that brims over with plenty but feeds no one at the gathering.
“The images of the Indian Princess and Squaw have had a significant impact on societies’ perception of Indian women and serve as inspirations for most of my work. Surprisingly, we still see popularized images of the Indian Princess being created by both native and non-native people. You can find these products being sold in Indian Museums and souvenir shops across North America. These are testament to the general public’s idealized perception of beautiful Native women as being exotic and hard to find – virtually non-existent. The other side of the Indian Princess is, of course, the squaw – another of societies’ iconic scapegoats meant to desensitize both the general public’s view of Indian women (their political, historical and social issues as well), and the self perception among Native women themselves.
My work explores the influence of popular media and culture (contemporary and historical) on Aboriginal self-identity, self-image, and self-definition. I am currently exploring the impact of colonization on traditional and contemporary roles and lifestyles of aboriginal women. I deconstruct the images of the Indian Princess and the Squaw and reconstruct an image of absurdity and insert these hybrids into the mainstream. The performance personas I have created refer to the damage of colonialism and to the ironic pleasures of displacement and resistance.”
Many thanks to our partners and friends who have made this event possible. Big thanks to OCAD and Johanna Householder, Laura Levin and PSi, the Aboriginal Visual Culture Office (OCAD) and Bonnie Devine, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Tannis Nielsen, Cynthia Lickers, Shelley Niro, Jennifer Rashleigh and Claudia Wittmann.
Presented at OCADU during the PSi Conference, taking place in Toronto from June 9–12.