Curating the Self: Jordan Wilson

February 29, 2016

Or Gallery is pleased to present a talk by Vancouver-based curator Jordan Wilson, the third instalment in our Curating the Self lecture series.

Wilson will discuss his experiences and observations as a Musqueam community member and co-curator involved in producing the multi-site exhibition c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city. He will examine the issues present in the curation of a contemporary ethnographic (and ostensibly archaeological) exhibit, and the role of the curator—particularly a curator from the community represented—in such an endeavour. His talk will explore the question of balancing a community’s desire to right inaccurate historical representations of itself, while maintaining its privacy and control over knowledge. He will detail the challenges of respectfully approaching the representation of a collection of 10,000+ belongings (‘artefacts’) obtained through colonial displacement. He will also consider his own personal trajectory as an Indigenous curator and scholar.


Following this lecture, Or Gallery will host a reading group focused on a text selected by Wilson from Audra Simpson’s book _Mohawk Interruptus_ (2014). The reading group will take place at the Or on Wednesday March 2 at 7PM. Space is limited so please RSVP.


Curating the Self is a lecture series that explores the construction of identity in relation to the discipline of curating as well as the many forms of cultural assemblage that have lately begun to appropriate and adapt curatorial strategies for their own purposes.

Participant Bios

Wilson is an independent curator, researcher and writer. He was a co-curator of the exhibit c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city, at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. He is of mixed European-Indigenous ancestry and is a member of the Musqueam First Nation. He holds a Masters of Arts in Anthropology (museum studies stream) and a Bachelor of Arts in First Nations Studies, both obtained at UBC.