Ariel Smith

Cree / Canada

Ariel Smith is an urban nēhiyaw iskwew (plains Cree woman), a self-taught filmmaker, video artist, writer and cultural worker currently based on unceded Algonquin territory, Ottawa, Ontario. She has shown at festivals and galleries internationally including: Images Festival (Toronto), Mix Experimental Film Festival (NYC), Urban Shaman (Winnipeg), MAI (Montréal), Gallery Sans Nom (Moncton), Santa Fe Indian Market (Santa Fe, New Mexico), Solid Screens (Cairns, Australia) and Cold Creation Gallery (Barcelona, Spain).

She has written essays and articles on the subjects of Indigenous media arts as self determination and on gendered colonial violence for Concordia University, The Ottawa Art Gallery, The Ottawa International Animation Festival, Bitch Flicks, and the Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society Journal. Ariel is a programmer and arts educator for the imagineNATIVE film and media arts festival and is the director of National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition (NIMAC).

Ariel’s lived experiences with difference and marginalization form the basis for much of her work. Interested in the political and social forces that affect the lives of girls and women, she investigates these themes, resulting in anti-essentialist, tongue-in-cheek commentaries which embody the grotesque feminine, while at the same time challenge the negative patriarchal perception of the feminine-as monstrous.


MONOMYTHS is conceived and curated by Shannon Cochrane and Jess Dobkin.
The series is presented by FADO in the context of Progress.

MONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. This new assemblage of non-linear un-narratives proposes a cultural, political and social feminist re-visioning of the world. The MONOMYTHS perception of the universal journey dispels the notion of the lone patriarchal figure on a conquest to vanquish his demons—both inner and outer—in consideration of community, collectivity, and collaboration.

MONOMYTHS Stage 3: Meeting of the Mentor
The Exquisite Course

Performances by Dainty Smith, Tamyka Bullen, Eliza Chandler, Zanette Singh, Ariel Smith, Johnson Ngo

The Exquisite Course, presented by the Feminist Art Gallery (F.A.G.), is an evening of short lectures by feminist and/or queer artists and creative folks from a variety of disciplines, interests, and positions. A mixture of fiction and non-fiction, The Exquisite Course collages real-life stories and performance mythologies around the microphone campfire to stitch together tales of meeting real-life mentors.

The Feminist Art Gallery is a response, a process, a site, a protest, an outcry, an exhibition, a performance, an economy, a conceptual framework, a place, and an opportunity. We host we fund we advocate we support we claim. The Feminist Art Gallery (F.A.G) is our geographical footprint located in Toronto and is run by Allyson Mitchell and Deirdre Logue.

This event will be ASL interpreted.

SummerWorks, in partnership with The Theatre Centre and a roster of Toronto theatre and performance organizations/presenters and companies including Aluna TheatreDancemakers, FADO Performance Art Centre, SummerworksThe Theatre Centre and Volcano Theatre brings the world to Toronto with Progress, an international festival of performance and ideas from January 14–February 7, 2016. 

Performance Yellow

This fragrance opens us to the question, has the show started? It's winter, the theatre is colder than the street and the room is filled with people and all their winter smells: wet faux leather, down, too much shampoo, and beer breath. The atmosphere is a trickster. Am I late, am I early?

Top Notes

yellow mandarin, mimosa

Middle Notes

honey, chamomile, salt

Base Notes

narcissus, guaiac wood, piss, beer