peter morin’s museum
Through singing drums, family heirlooms, a talking basket, and cups of tea, artist Peter Morin sets the idea of the museum on the kitchen table. Peter Morin’s Museum weaves together familiar practices of museum display with a series of performances and an evolving installation to create a space in which to share Tahltan knowledge. As elements of the “museum” change and transform over time, visitors are invited to reflect on history, objects, and places of connection.
Peter Morin, of the Tahltan Nation of northern British Columbia, is a Victoria-based performance artist. His ideas about museums and their transformation through indigenous ways of knowing began in his cousin’s cabin, where visits with friends, relatives, and elders offered him a gradual understanding of Tahltan history and means of sharing it with one another. For this exhibition, Peter locates the table—the place of gathering, of Tahltan sovereignty, of his grandmothers’ knowledge—within the space of an urban gallery. There are objects in cases and on the walls: family photos, precious tools, images of Tahltan territory, video, and drums painted with the songs they have sung. Just as visual access to these elements will change through their wrapping and unwrapping over the course of the exhibition, so too will visitors’ relationships to the work as the artist reveals his stories.
Peter Morin’s Museum is presented by the UBC Museum of Anthropology. MOA has for some time been engaged in a critical re-thinking of the relationships among cultural institutions, originating communities, knowledge systems, and collections of art and ethnology. This exhibition contributes to this ongoing dialogue, and we invite your participation.