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L.A. Beat

Arianna Richardson’s exhibit Decolonization Station to spark Canada 150 discussion

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Canada, like pretty much all countries, has it’s darker moments of history, so Lethbridge born, Halifax based artist Arianna Richardson hopes to spark a discussion about it with her new exhibit  “Decolonization Station” outside Arianna Richardson's exhibit Decolonization Station is outside of SAAG, July 1. Photo by Richard Amerythe SAAG, July 1.

“Canada has a history that is often actively ignored. So I want to start a discussion about it,” said Richardson, back home in Lethbridge for a month from Halifax, where she is studying for her MFA.

“I’ll be destroying objects and souvenirs I’ve collected over the past three years from my travels across Canada as my alter ego the Hobbyist,” she continued, adding she invites the public to bring their own tchotchkes and souvenirs to talk about and then destroy.

“I want it to inspire a public discussion about colonization and decolonization,” she said.

“But I’m setting it up as a carnival game and dressing up in costume as I use a trash can to burn them. So it is a performance piece. I’ll have people filming the event, she said, emphasizing her exhibition isn’t a SAAG event, as they are just allowing her to perform outside their building.

“I’m hoping it will help people question the Canadian stereotype of the RCMP and beer drinking outdoorsman,” she added.

“I come from a white settler background, so I don‘t want to appropriate. I’m not speaking for First Nations people, I just want to start a dialogue,” she said, adding Canada 150 celebrations provided an excellent opportunity for a project like this one.

“It seems all the more relevant today. It’s an important discussion to have, even for myself.”
 The exhibit runs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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