Who sings the queer island body?
The McClure Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by multidisciplinary artist Kama La Mackerel, whose work includes textiles, photography, moving image, poetry, storytelling and performance.
Island spaces have a long and persisting history of being represented as terra nullius—wild, empty spaces, in a pristine state of nature, to be exploited for transactional, colonial enterprises. In this new interdisciplinary exhibition, Kama La Mackerel reclaims the sovereignty of islands as a decolonial and spiritual force in relationship to their queer/trans body. Bringing together ancestral, geological and ecological memories through multilingual poetry, sound compositions, photography, moving image and textile installations, Who sings the queer island body? offers a new cartography for the coming-into-being of island sovereignty.
Kama La Mackerel is a Mauritian-Canadian multilingual writer, visual artist, performer, educator and literary translator who believes in love, justice and self and collective empowerment. Their practice blurs the lines between traditional artistic disciplines to create hybrid aesthetic spaces from which decolonial and queer/trans vocabularies can emerge. At once narratological and theoretical, personal and political, their interdisciplinary method, developed over the past decade, is grounded in ritual, meditation, ancestral healing modalities, auto-ethnography, oral history, archival research and community-arts facilitation.
Kama is a firm believer that artistic and cultural practices have the power to build resilience, to heal and to act as forms of resistance to the status quo. With wholehearted engagement in ocean narratives, island sovereignty, transgender poetics and queer/trans spiritual histories, their body of work challenges colonial notions of time and space as these relate to history, power, language, subject formation and the body.
Kama has lectured, performed and exhibited their work internationally in museums, galleries, theatres and universities. In 2021, they were awarded the Canada Council for the Arts Joseph S. Stauffer Prize for emerging and mid-career artists in Visual Arts. Their award-winning book ZOM-FAM (Metonymy Press) was named a CBC Best Poetry Book and a Globe and Mail Best Debut. Kama lives and loves in Tio’tia:ke, also known as Montréal.
https://lamackerel.net/ @KamaLaMackerel on social media