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dark string repeat, 20120, video still (detail) from the exhibition liminal disturbance
Greg Staats, Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk), Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.
Greg Staats (b. Ohsweken, Ontario) is a photographer and video artist and more recently video installation and sculpture, whose works combine language, mnemonics, proxemics and the natural world. Greg Staats has been in the process of reconnecting with a traditional Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) restorative aesthetic that defines the multiplicity of relationships with trauma and renewal. The trauma that is felt from his personal and existential displacement from the Mohawk language and subsequent relational worldview, and the networks defined by culture motivates Greg Staats' recent video and photographic works within a mnemonic continuum. In place of this systemic deficit, he has also assembled and created an archive of images and documents, both personal and familial. This restitution and the residual visual documents produced by it create and maintain strong connections with the land, nation, community, and family. Furthermore, this powerful new resource is an externalization of what is carried within the body, which in itself is a repository in dialogue with places real and imagined, traditional and contemporary. He has lived and worked in Toronto since 1985.
Staats has had solo exhibitions at the Kitchener-Waterloo Arts Gallery, Walter Philips Gallery, Banff, Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, Mercer Union, Gallery TPW, and McMaster Museum of Art (2011). His group exhibitions include Ottawa Art Gallery, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, the National Gallery of Canada and the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art. Staats is the recipient of the Duke and Duchess of York Prize in Photography. Recently, Staats has been Faculty for two Aboriginal Visual Arts Thematic Residencies: Archive Restored (2009) and Towards Language (2010) at the Banff Centre for the Arts.