2019 RIA Salons 87 -94

RIA Salon 87: Beth Greenhorn,

Project Naming

project naming

Beth writes: Project Naming

As the national archival repository, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has millions of photographs in its holdings. In addition to the photographic records taken by federal public servants, it includes thousands of images in private collections pertaining to Canadian history. A large number of these photographers document the three Indigenous peoples in Canada. Until the mid-twentieth century, the prevailing attitude asserted that Indigenous peoples would disappear or assimilate into the dominant European-based society. Consequently, the names of Indigenous peoples depicted in LAC’s photographic documents were rarely recorded. Project Naming changed that. This identification initiative began in 2002 as a collaboration between Nunavut Sivuniksavut, a college program based in Ottawa, the Government of Nunavut and LAC. Project Naming has developed into an internationally renowned photographic identification and digitization project. Over the years, LAC has collaborated with a number of community-based Indigenous organizations and universities. In 2015, LAC officially expanded the project to include photographs depicting all three Indigenous groups in Canada. Since 2002, LAC has digitized more than 10,000 photographs with Indigenous content and has received the names of more than one-quarter of the individuals. Through digitization, First Nations, the Métis Nation, and Inuit have a voice and play a central role in correcting the historical record.

Beth Greenhorn has an MA in Canadian Art History from Carleton University. She is a Senior Project Manager at Library and Archives Canada. From 2003-2017, she managed Project Naming, a nationally and internationally recognized community-based initiative involving the digitization of photographs depicting First Nations, the Métis Nation, and Inuit peoples. She curated the traveling exhibition (2016-present), Hiding in Plain Sight: Discovering the Métis Nation in the Collections of Library and Archives Canada, and was a curator on Pathways: Following Traces of Indigenous Routes Across Ontario, an exhibition in collaboration with Toronto Public Library. In December 2017, she began working on We Are Here: Sharing Stories, a three-year project involving the digitization of archival records and published works containing Indigenous content held at LAC.


RIA Salon 88: Sylvie Grenier,

Paris, Artist in Residence

Sylvie Grenier

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

Sylvie writes:

October 2018 Residency in Paris, France
The Paris residency was an exploration of the historical legacy of Paris as an art centre and an in-depth immersion into its contemporary art scene. Together with a wonderful team of historians and curators, the residency provided access to many art venues, from major art museums and institutions hosted by their in-house representatives, to secluded historic sites, artists’ studios and local Paris-based arts communities.
The residency provided a wonderful opportunity to visit Paris from the point of view of an artist and to talk to contemporary artists, curators and gallery owners. It offered the chance to learn from other international participants as well as to work a bit in a studio when time allowed.

Sylvie Grenier is a graduate of the Ottawa School of Art. Her preferred medium is oil paint. Her work explores the boundaries of abstraction to create a space-based on memories, somewhere between seeing and feeling. Her current work carries forward the idea of painting in a minimalist way and is focused on creating a quick gestural response to the land.

RIA Salon 89: Alejandro Salgado Cendales, New in Town!

Studio Portrait 1Alejandro Salgado Cendales, Studio Portrait 1 

March 13th, 2019

Alejandro writes: What happens when a painter becomes a community organizer and social researcher? What is the relationship between art and social justice? What are the disciplinary boundaries of art? This talk will mix academic concepts with anecdotic narratives, exploring my experience as a painter in the early years of my career and describing the slow transitioning to my contemporary practice beyond disciplinary restrictions. Why did this happen? How did it happen? Has there been any success? Will it continue?

Alejandro Salgado Cendales is a contemporary artist who combines community-based work with his studio practice and research. This condition and his diverse cultural backgrounds (as Colombian, he developed a hybrid identity shaped by the intersection of Western knowledge with indigenous, African and popular knowledges) have been transforming his understanding of culture, economy, and politics, and their intrinsic relationship. He got a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (2013) and a Master in Fine Art (MFA) at Queens College, City University of New York, (CUNY 2017). His work has been exhibited in Colombia, Canada and the United States of America.


Alejandro explores the boundaries of contemporary art through interdisciplinary practices, mixing techniques and methods from other disciplines like anthropology, sociology, and history. He defines his work as research-based and community-based practice. By meeting with different members of the contextual community and using dialogue as an instrument for communication and aesthetic research, his projects evolve in collaboration with the participants. Through a process of negotiation and discussion, the boundaries between the artist and the audience get blurred, transforming art practice into collective and democratic action.

Salgado explores the relationship between power and knowledge. Is knowledge neutral? What is the relationship between science and truth? Do social sciences produce objective knowledge? Do institutions represent the entire social body? Or do they represent a particular gender, sexual normativity, social class, ethnicity, and race? Can art be political? What is the relationship between art and social justice? His role as an artist has been shifting from a creator to a social architect, bridging the gap between institutions and marginalized communities. Hence, he approaches his practice from multidisciplinary discourses and mediums (performance, video installations, video documentation, painting, installation, and text), facilitating dialogues between academic, institutional, and local subjugated knowledges.

Alejandro wrote:

Thanks for all of you who came to the talk.

I´ve been thinking that there are so many things that I wasn´t able to address in the talk, like the problems of social practice, or an explanation of why I do believe western epistemology is based on myths/assumptions that hide power dynamics of oppression, colonialism, and imperialism.
Thus here is a list of things I would like to share with you:
2. Epistemic disobedience Part 1 by Alejandro Salgado Cendales https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uESq9dd7EwU
3. Epistemic disobedience Part 2 by Alejandro Salgado Cendales https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHiUp4yARmk
4. The myth of History and the history in the Myth by Alejandro Salgado Cendales (Although you already watch the video, you can read the essay here) https://alejandrosalgadocendales.com/the-myth-of-history-and-the-history-in-the-myth
5. This is a talk Amin Husain did as part of the Revolution Will Not Be Exhibited. Amin is a lawyer who decided to become an artist. He is a co-founder of MTL Collective, Decolonize This Place. Also a member of G.U.L.F. Coalition. Amin has been a strong influence on my practice as an artist and community organizer.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWuohyMtb4w
6. My project with The Multicultural Artists´ Coalition http://multiculturalartistscoalition.ca/


Here is the video I wasn´t able to play about Kate Browne´s Cocoon project developed in the Bronx where I worked as a member of her team. As I said she was a mentor to me.
Hope this cover some of the subject I wasn´t able to address.