Dear John, Louis David Riel

Parliament of Canada - Statue of Sir John A. Macdonald 111 Wellington Street, Ottawa
Parliament of Canada - Statue of Sir John A. Macdonald 111 Wellington Street, Ottawa

David Garneau

Sylvia Ziemann

Duration

Performance is approximately 25 minutes with no intermission.

Join Métis artist David Garneau at the bronze statue of Sir John A. Macdonald on Parliament Hill for a powerful performative dialogue between the Métis leader Louis Riel and Canada’s first prime minister. Dressed as Riel, Garneau imagines an encounter between Riel and Macdonald, who charged Riel with high treason in 1885, leading to Riel’s execution by hanging. The artist’s performance touches on themes of masculinity and power display, Métis identity, and the complexity of reconciliation – which assumes that a harmonious relationship existed between the two parties in the first place.

David Garneau is associate professor of Visual Arts at the University of Regina. His work focuses on painting, drawing, curation, and critical writing. Garneau’s paintings are in collections including the Canadian Museum of History, the Parliament of Canada, and the Indian and Inuit Art Centre at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.


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