(official denial) trade value in progress

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An ongoing interactive project initiated by artist Leah Decter, curated by Jaimie Isaac, and activated in collaboration, ‘(official denial) trade value in progress’ enacts exchange and elicits dialogue about contemporary conditions of settler colonialism and processes of decolonization and reconciliation in Canada. The project is carried out in recognition of the imperative for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to be involved in these processes.

In June of 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made an official ‘Statement of Apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools.’ In September of 2009, he delivered a speech to the G20 Summit in which he stated of Canada, that ‘we also have no history of Colonialism’. ‘(official denial) trade value in progress’ appropriates the latter statement as a springboard for dialogue. A textile piece made up of a composite of Hudson Bay blankets with this statement machine sewn at the center acts as the platform for response and dialogue.

People are invited to write their response to the statement in a book when the piece is exhibited or presented. In a series of sewing actions participants choose a response that someone else has contributed to the book and hand-sew it onto the blanket. As the project evolves a growing dialogue is made visible through these actions.

click here to find out more about how you can participate in this project by:

• Hosting a sewing action

• Participating in a sewing action

• Contributing your response to the statement

• Providing a venue for  presentation or         exhibition of the piece

click here to read all the responses

to date. (to be updated soon)

After over five years of activation official denial held its final Sewing Action on January 30, 2016 at Diagonale Gallery in Montreal.

We would like to express heartfelt thanks to all those who have contributed to the project over this time.

We hope to see official denial continue to engage audiences through exhibitions and other presentations.