Dylan Miner

May 26 - Jul 14, 2017

Opening: May 26, 7pm-10pm

Aanikoobijiganag is the latest installation of Dylan Miner’s ongoing exploration and reconnection to his gichi-aanikoobijigan’s (grandfather’s grandfather) arrest for hunting deer in November of 1906 in the Georgian Bay territory.


Aanikoobijiganag is the third component of a four-part collaboration with Artspace. The multipart project commenced from Miner’s discovery of a document indicating the arrest of his gichi-aanikoobijigan (grandfather’s grandfather) for poaching a deer. Following the May 2016 exhibition Waawaashkeshiwi-wiiyaas, Miner traveled to the Georgian Bay, north of Parry Sound on the shores of Lake Huron, in November 2016 – almost 110 years to the day that Narcisse Miner was arrested for poaching. Miner returned to the shores of Lake Huron, near the Miner Rapids on the Shebeshekong River, with the hopes of harvesting waawaashkeshiwi-wiiyaas (venison). Miner’s experiences on and with the land, along with his family visits and shared stories, form the base of this new exhibition.

Aanikoobijiganag is the latest installation of Dylan Miner’s ongoing exploration and reconnection to his gichi-aanikoobijigan and part of his larger artist and intellectual project to undermine the violence performed by settler-colonial borders and their effects on Indigenous people, including own Métis communities. What initially began as an act of reclamation of both his gichi-aanikoobijigan’s story and Indigenous rights to subsistence hunting and harvesting, has evolved into a multi-layered reconnection with familial history, non-linear understanding of temporality, and anticolonial and Indigenous futurities.

Aanikoobijiganag includes four works, centred around a large-scale, wall-mounted sculpture installed in Artspace’s Gallery One. Consisting of 149 copper pipes installed vertically, miskwaabikoon / (pieces of) copper alludes to Miner’s great-grandfather’s labour as a pipefitter, but also references current pipeline protests and the ecological violence that pipelines inflict upon Indigenous peoples and upon the land. Borrowing its shape from a roadside warning sign – and seen by Miner as an abstracted landscape – the pipes recall the shapes of fences, as well as forms etched onto the sides of wiigwaasi-jiimaan.

Also in Gallery One, is another wall-mounted sculpture titled niiwinimbagijige / four – I make an offering. The sculpture includes photographic and archival documents about four generations of Miner’s ancestors, including a photograph of Narcisse Miner. On a reclaimed piece of roofing wood, Miner offers natural and synthetic ochre, as well as copper pigment. On the floor is a similarly sized pile of asemaa.


Additionally, Miner has two new works installed in Gallery Two. Along the walls, Miner has painstakingly drawn with figurate and geometric imagery using ochre. miskwaabikad / it is red (mineral) is a temporal work that will slowly degrade from the wall, as well as shift and change as humans interact with it. The work becomes the base for a series of five unedited videos recorded on the Supermoon – November 14, 2016 – recorded when Miner returned to the land of his gichi-aanikoobijigan’s arrest, as well as within the graveyard where his ancestors are buried. These videos, each approximately four minutes, are collectively titled gichi-giizis / the great moon and serve as a link between this exhibition and the constellatory focus of his earlier work on Waawaashkeshiwi-wiiyaas.

To coincide with the exhibition and as the culmination of the year-long project, Miner will release a limited edition risograph publication produced in conjunction with Artspace and Issue Press (Grand Rapids, Michigan). The publication will be released at the conclusion of Miner’s exhibition and will coincide with a one-day symposium to take place on Wednesday July 12, 2017. More details will be released as they become available.


Dylan AT Miner is a Wiisaakodewinini (Métis) artist, activist, and scholar. He is currently Director of American Indian and Indigenous Studies and Associate Professor in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University. Miner is also adjunct curator of Indigenous art at the MSU Museum and a founding member of the Justseeds artists collective. He holds a PhD from The University of New Mexico and has published approximately sixty journal articles, book chapters, critical essays, and encyclopedia entries. In 2010, he was awarded an Artist Leadership Fellowship through the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian Institution). Miner has been featured in more than twenty solo exhibitions – with many more planned in the near future – and has been artist-in-residence or visiting artist at institutions such as the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, École supérieure des beaux-arts in Nantes, Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, Rabbit Island, Santa Fe Art Institute, and numerous universities, art schools, and low-residency MFA programs. His book Creating Aztlán: Chicano Art, Indigenous Sovereignty, and Lowriding Across Turtle Island was published in 2014 by the University of Arizona Press. Miner is currently completing a book on Indigenous Aesthetics: Art, Activism, Autonomy and writing his first book of poetry, Ikidowinan Ninandagikendaanan (words I must learn). In 2016, Miner has had solo exhibitions in Ontario and Vancouver, conducted a workshop in Chile, done a residency at the MacKenzie Art Gallery, and exhibited work in Sweden and at the Banff Centre.