950 Rue du Square-Victoria, Montréal, QC H3C 6J7
Born in 1974 in Montreal, Nadia Myre is of Algonquin origin and a member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinaabeg Nation. In 2017-2018, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts devoted a first monographic exhibition to her work.
A graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design (1997), with an MFA from Concordia University (2002), Nadia Myre is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Walter Phillips Gallery Aboriginal Commission Award at the Banff Center for Arts (2016), the Sobey Art Award (2014), the Pratt and Whitney Canada Les Elles de l’art Award from the Conseil des arts de Montréal (2011), and a grant from the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art (2003).
A multidisciplinary artist, she uses audience participation as a strategy to initiate a dialogue about identity, resilience and the politics of belonging.
Approach and works on display
To describe Nadia Myre’s artistic approach, at the time of her investiture to the rank of Companion of Arts and Letters of Quebec, Geneviève Picard said these words of great accuracy: “Inspired by traditional objects, symbols and know-how of Aboriginal peoples to revisit their history and their struggles, Nadia Myre’s works are conceptual and visceral. They incite both reflection and contemplation. Based on the encounter, her creative process solicits the participation of the public to initiate a dialogue on identity, resilience, belonging, memory, desire and loss.”
For those who cannot speak, the land, the water, the animals, and the future generations (2013)
This work is as much a call for respect and dignity for Canada’s Aboriginal peoples as it is a powerful political statement. Produced following the January 11, 2013 declaration of Algonquin kokoms (grandmothers) on Parliament Hill who denounced an iniquitous law that introduces the possibility of selling land within the reserves while the aboriginals, by decree, cannot own it (property of the crown). Inspired by this famous declaration, the artist also invokes in her work the formal codes used in the Wampum belts. Diplomatic and spiritual objects, these regulated the exchanges and agreements between and within the Aboriginal nations long before the arrival of the colonists. With intelligence, the artist shows us that laws and treaties are cultural objects and that if their project is to regulate social relations between and within peoples, they are always in context and from a way of inhabiting the world which by essence is not universal. Myre thus invites us to question our cultural value system and its grey areas.