Of Tobacco and Sweetgrass: Where Our Dreams Are

Curator: Guy Sioui Durand

From February 2 2019 to May 5 2019

About —

Group show – contemporary indigenous art

Each winter, spikes of ice rise from the meanders of the Outaragasipi River outside the luminous Musée d’art de Joliette. This season, a group of contemporary indigenous artworks will warm the museum’s interior. Their shapes inspire wonderment, evoke aromas of tobacco and sweetgrass, reveal a colourful visual spirit, make enchanting sounds. Their imagery-rich stories speak of Nitaskinan, the land. With the group show De tabac et de foin d’odeur. Là où sont nos rêves [Of Tobacco and Sweetgrass: Where Our Dreams Are], the museum will showcase astonishing – and nomadic, in a sense – indigenous artistic practices oscillating between materiality and invisible energies, aesthetics and ethics, the museum interior and exterior. This indigenous vision points to a necessary re-wilding of our relationship with the planet, and invites us to renew our mutual relations. Will we change our visions of the world?

Artists Eruoma Awashish, Jacques Newashish, Catherine Boivin and Terry Randy Awashish (Atikamekw) join Christine Sioui Wawanoloath (Waban A’ki), Hannah Claus (Kanienke’a:ka) and Sonia Robertson (PekuakamIlnuatsh). Caroline Monnet (Anishinabe) presents a work made in collaboration with Daniel Watchorn, and a second made with Ludovic Boney (Wendat), produced by the National Film Board of Canada. Wendat curator Guy Sioui Durand is the architect of this imaginary camp whose roots are ancient, yet also engaged with the future.


Several works will be exhibited in unexpected places, both in the museum and in the city.



Images in the banner:

Hydro, multimedia installation, 72×96 po., Ludovic Boney et Caroline Monnet

© National Film Board of Canada 2016.


© Hannah Claus. Water song, 2014. Credit: Robert Dubé.


Partner organization for this exhibition: Aboriginal Curatorial Collective








In collaboration with New Chapter and the National Film Board of Canada:

ONF/NFB + Nouveau Chapitre/New Chapter





Thanks to our diffusion partners: Ciné-répertoire de Lanaudière et Kiwimédia






Biography —

A member of the Wendat (Huron) nation from the community of Wendake, Guy Sioui Durand is a member of the Wolf clan. He holds a PhD in sociology and is an art critic, independent curator, sought-after speaker and performer. Sioui also creates spoken-word pieces that express indigenous orality. Contemporary and indigenous art are his areas of expertise. In the winter of 2019, he is teaching Art autochtone moderne et contemporain (modern and contemporary indigenous art) at the Institution Kiuna in Odanak and in the department of art history at UQAM.


Sioui Durand is the author of several books, including L’Esprit des objets (2013), Riopelle. Indianité (2002), Les très riches heures de Riopelle (2000) and the reference work L’art comme alternative. Réseaux et pratiques d’art parallèle au Québec (1997). He has three books in progress: Ohrehta’. Art Sauvage en Kébeq et Kanata; L’art, sans alternative. Art actuel du Québec au Monde, tome 2; and Sehiatonhchotrahk. Écrits littéraires. He has written several pieces of art criticism for catalogues, periodicals and online publications.