Marc Johnson (France)


Title: Parley
Artist: Marc Johnson 
Medium: Film 
Location: Vancouver Biennale YouTube Channel


“Parley[1]” is a series of interviews conducted by Marc Johnson (France, 1986-) with First Nations artists and curators as well as non-indigenous individuals. 

The research practice was looking to better understand the Vancouver art scenes through the voices of their creators; learn from the relationships established between creators and institutions such as museums and archives, and expose the remaining and existing tensions of Canada’s colonial history through the thoughts, gazes and tongues of those historically repressed, oppressed and denied as well as the generations of creators after the victims of the cultural genocide of Government of Canada’s residential school system — 1620-1997[2]


How diverse are the Vancouver art scenes and who are the main actors?

What is the legitimacy of museum collections in the light of the recent studies in colonial history?

How First Nations creators are coping with Canada’s colonial past?

What are the relationships between museums, archives and First nations creators?

These are some of the questions addressed in the interview series.

[1] “Parley” was created during the 2019 Vancouver Biennale residency programme re-IMAGE-n-ing public space with the support of the Cultural and Scientific Services of the Embassy of France to Canada. 

[2] from the mission schools for Indigenous children established by the religious orders that could be seen as precursors to the Government of Canada’s residential school system to the “Grollier Hall” closure. 

The aftermath of the residential school’s system is still unravelling today through the processes of reconciliation. The dates provided are an indication and does not reflect necessarily the most accurate historical facts assessed through rigorous historical research.