International Art Museum of America

Art and Community
Peace and Harmony

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Terrance Houle: Urban Indian Series (2004), 

Born December 9, 1975, in Calgary. Lives and works in Calgary. In a practice that ranges from performance to photography to film and video works, Blackfoot artist Terrance Houle remakes the troubled history of colonialism and First Nations identity with a roguish wit and punk-rock edge. His strategy matches self-deprecating humour with an uneasy undertone; the results cut away at both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal notions of an urban Indian status quo. In his Urban Indian Series (2004), Houle is pictured grocery shopping, working in an office cubicle and riding public transit—all in elaborate powwow regalia.

In the performance video Friend or Foe (2010–11), he plays off cultural and historical gaps in communication while dressed in a loincloth and communicating by sign language.

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Contemporary Art Week!

Love Terrance Houle! The picture of him grocery shopping was turned into a billboard and placed in the Byward Market here in Ottawa as a part of Sakahan last summer. It gave his theme of the “urban Indian” an extra layer of meaning,