Tanya Tagaq joins Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory to discuss their arts practice, the relationship of politics to art, the role of the artist in Canada today, and the Indigenous voice. Tagaq will also read from her critically acclaimed work, the Giller Prize nominated Split Tooth.
Tanya Tagaq is an improvisational singer, avant-garde composer and bestselling novelist. A Member of the Order of Canada, Polaris Music Prize and JUNO Award winner, Giller Prize Long Listed author and recipient of multiple honourary doctorates, Tagaq is one of the country’s most original and celebrated artists.
Tagaq’s improvisational approach lends itself to collaboration across genres and forms. Her work includes numerous guest vocal appearances (Buffy Sainte-Marie, Weaves, A Tribe Called Red, Fucked Up), original avant-garde classical compositions (Kronos Quartet, The Toronto Symphony Orchestra), commissions (National Maritime Museum in London, UK) and more. In its many forms, from novel Split Tooth to most recent album Retribution, Tanya Tagaq’s art challenges static ideas of genre and culture, and contends with themes of environmentalism, human rights and post-colonial issues.
Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory is an established multi-disciplinary artist based in Iqaluit, NU whose practice centres on uaajeerneq (Greenlandic mask dance) and also includes acting, curating, drum-dancing, music and writing. Williamson Bathory is a founding member and Artistic Director of Qaggiavuut! Society, which launched a capital campaign for a Performing Arts Centre in Nunavut. In addition to her performances in theatre, dance and poetry, she appeared in Tanya Tagaq’s Retribution (2016) music video and has been published in an anthology of Canadian Poetry titled "Pith and Wry." Bathory contributed to the "Inuit Art Quarterly’s" Spring/Summer 2014 and Summer 2016 issues as a writer and has been written about in many publications.