2167: Honour Dance
Honour Dance is a virtual reality experience based on a 2008 five-channel video installation by Kent Monkman, Dance to the Berdashe. Set in a verdant meadow at magic hour, Honour Dance offers a contemporary re-interpretation of a traditional Indigenous ritual featuring the “Berdashe”, a gender-bending figure whose behaviour and very existence astonished and appalled European explorers of North America.
Virile Dandies from the four directions invigorate the Berdashe with the vitality of their honour dance. Through this reciprocal and performative rite, the Dandies and Berdashe renew each other’s spirits, thereby refuting their obfuscation by colonial forces and Primitivism’s reductive pillaging of Indigenous cultures. 5 min.
Kent Monkman is a Canadian artist of Cree ancestry who is well known for his provocative reinterpretations of romantic North American landscapes. Themes of colonization, sexuality, loss and resilience – the complexities of historic and contemporary Indigenous experience – are explored in a variety of mediums, including painting, film/video, performance and installation.
Director: Kent Monkman (Cree)
Canada | 2017 | 5 min | 360 VR
ImagineNATIVE, in partnership with TIFF, Pinnguaq and the Initiative for Indigenous Futures (IIF), present 2167, an innovative virtual reality and immersive media project. Five Indigenous filmmakers and artists have been commissioned to create five VR works in 2017, with each artist asked to set their work 150 years in the future.
The idea for this project was born out of a love of science fiction and alternate realities. Often Indigenous people are seen as stuck in the past; the 2167 project takes a very deliberate leap forward in time and we get to see artistic visions about Indigenous place in the future. In a year that in many ways commemorates a very complex history for Indigenous people, this project celebrates the decades to come and our role in shaping a new future for Canada.
Award-winning filmmaker Danis Goulet, Indigenous Canadian artists Kent Monkman and Scott Benesiinaabandan and the interdisciplinary arts collective Postcommodity bring their own vision of the future in two- to six-minute virtual reality experiences.
Three works premiered at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in June 2017, and the remaining during imagineNATIVE in October 2017 (also at TIFF Bell Lightbox), as part of TIFF’s sesquicentennial initiative called Canada on Screen. In partnership with TIFF and with support of Ontario 150 and Heritage Canada , 2167 reached audiences across the country with a travelling tour until the end of 2017.