‘trade value’ (excerpts) by Leah Decter, curated by Jaimie Isaac

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180 OD 5 copy
‘trade value’ installation view, photograph courtesy of Leah Decter

180 Projects and the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre present:

‘trade value’ (excerpts) by Leah Decter, curated by Jaimie Isaac

February 14th – March 5th, 2013

180 Projects is pleased to present the exhibition ‘trade value’ (excerpts) by Leah Decter, curated by Jaimie Isaac as part of the Apology, Denial and Reconciliation initiatives of the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre.

‘trade value’ (excerpts) includes the following works. (official apology) 913 words on behalf of all canadians: trade value unknown is a large digital print made by Decter from hundreds of scanned points from Hudson Bay point blankets. forestforthetress: trade value 1-476 is a digital video projection by Decter also incorporating digitized HBC blanket points. (official denial) trade value in progress is an ongoing participatory work collaboratively activated by Decter and Isaac. The piece incorporates sewn statements from participants in response to Stephen Harper’s 2009 statement ‘We (Canada) also have no history of Colonialism.’ The project began with Harper’s statement machine embroidered in a bold, authoritative font in the centre of the textile piece constructed from several used HBC blankets. Initial viewers were invited to respond to this statement in an accompanying ledger. Subsequent “sewing actions,” which have taken place across Canada, saw participants sew by hand selections from the ledger onto the piece. This process is ongoing and will continue during its time in Sault Ste. Marie.

From Decter’s statement:
‘trade value’ is an ongoing body of work that builds on my practice of tampering with iconic elements of Canadian visual culture, in this case enlisting the Hudson Bay Company (HBC) point blanket. Redeploying the complex social history and contemporary associations of HBC point blankets through manipulation and relational activation each piece in ‘trade value’ confronts particular aspects of Canada’s settler colonial past and present with a view towards the future. I approach this work through a critical analysis of my position as a settler in relation to colonial realities and decolonizing movements.

From Isaac’s statement:
The (official denial) project privileges uncensored, cross cultural, intergenerational dialogue and critical exchange between diverse groups across Canada on the issues of colonialism, reconciliation, denial and truth, as it relates to all Canadians. As Indigenous and non-Indigenous collaborators, we work together to challenge colonial knowledge and utilize participatory methods that provokes inclusive dialogue.

trade value (excerpts) is supported by the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre (SRSC) as part of its “Healing and Reconciliation through Education” programming, funded by an Aboriginal Healing Foundation Indian Residential Schools Research Grant. This grant of $500,000 was awarded to the SRSC at Algoma University in August 2012.

Please join us for an opening reception of trade value (excerpts) on February 14th from 7-9pm at 180 Projects, located at 180 Gore Street in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

For more information on the ‘trade value’ series please go to:

or contact Andrea Pinheiro at: andrea.pinheiro@algomau.ca

For more information on the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre please go to:
or contact Jonathan Dewar at: jonathan.dewar@algomau.ca