Finally, a Biennial That Does Justice to Indigenous Narratives

15 de octubre de 2019

By  Maximilíano Durón | ARTnews

Then there are the Biennial’s educational programs, a major component of the exhibition. I participated in a “Storytelling Tour” on the second public day at the Small Arms Inspection Building, the Biennial’s second main venue in Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto. Our guide, Rebecca Flemister, took us outside the building to collect an object from nature—a leaf, a stick—and then sat us in front of drawings by Abel Rodríguez; an elder of the Nonuya people of Colombia, he depicts his people’s ancestral lands from memory, as they were displaced in the 1990s by armed conflict in the country. We were asked to draw and describe the object we had selected, and we then walked across the room to sit in front of the work of Wilson Rodríguez, Abel’s son, who makes his own drawings based on the knowledge that Abel passed on to him. Our guide asked, “How do we connect to those who come before us?”