Duane Linklater

Duane Linklater and Brian Jungen, Modest Livelihood (still), 2012

Duane Linklater and Brian Jungen, Modest Livelihood (still), 2012

Duane Linklater (b. 1976, Treaty 9 territory, Canada) is Omaskêko Ininiwak and lives and works in Ontario, Canada. Through sculpture, photography, film and video, installation and text, Linklater makes visible notions of cultural loss, amnesia and family identity. By displaying artefacts, traditions and the current and historical conditions of indigenous people in a museum context, he interrogates and redresses the psychological and theoretical power structures of the museum, acting as cultural gatekeeper. 

The sculptural works of Duane Linklater consider the notions of cultural loss, social amnesia and identity from the perspective of the indigenous peoples in Canada. Commenting on the economy of the fur trade, they suggest that animals, even in death, might retain their spirits or selfhood beyond the value they possess as commodities. By showing these works for the first time outside of Canada, the artist invites us to explore indigenous traditions and bodies within institutional settings. In the context of a gallery display at Tate Liverpool, the works reflect Europe’s own colonialist history, in which the natural resources and rights of indigenous peoples were heavily exploited.

Modest Livelihood by Brian Jungen and Duane Linklater was filmed during two hunting trips in Dane-zaa Territory in Northern British Columbia in 2011. The film, which is presented at St George’s Hall, follows the artists and Jungen’s uncle as they move through the landscape. For Jungen, of Dane-zaa and European ancestry, and Linklater, who is Omaskêko Cree, the ritual of the hunt is a customary practice of ancestral tradition central to their First Nations identity, and is inextricable from the century-old treaty rights of First Nations, which the title of the film references. 

In 2013 Linklater was awarded the Sobey Art Award, Canada’s most prestigious prize given to an artist under 40. Recent exhibitions include 80WSE, New York, USA (2017); Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Canada (2017); SeMa Biennale, Seoul, South Korea (2016); Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, USA (2015); Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, USA (2015); Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada (2015); Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada (2015); and Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, Canada as part of dOCUMENTA (13) Kassel, Germany (2012).

Duane Linklater at Liverpool Biennial 2018

My brother in law, my sister
, 2014
Fox fur, garment rack, hangers, t-shirt
Exhibited at Tate Liverpool

The marks left behind, 2014
Skunk furs, garment rack, hangers
Exhibited at Tate Liverpool

The most beautiful thing in the world, 2014
Skunk fur, paint, garment rack, hangers, fabric
Exhibited at Tate Liverpool

Little Ghosts, 2014
Mink furs, garment rack, plastic cable tie, hangers
Exhibited at Tate Liverpool

Kiss, 2014
Fox furs, garment rack, hangers
Exhibited at Tate Liverpool

Brian Jungen and Duane Linklater
Modest Livelihood, 2012
Super 16mm film transferred to Blu-ray, 50 min
Exhibited at St George's Hall

Supported by

Canada Council for the Arts


Tate Liverpool
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