Charles Campbell, exhibiting artist in the CRAG’s current exhibition The Chorus is Speaking brings his Actor Boy persona to Campbell River in this exciting new performance featuring a talk from Co-curator Michelle Jacques.

The Campbell River Art Gallery is hosting a performance! Exhibiting artist, and recent Viva Award winner, Charles Campbell will join us August 6th at 2:00pm in the Main Gallery. Chief Curator of Remai Modern and Co-Curator of exhibit The Chorus is Speaking Michelle Jacques will give a talk in conjunction with the performance.

The event will be a one time only, interactive sound and movement performance art piece. Campbell will invite the ancestors of each exhibiting artist to come onto this land in a good way, they will be welcomed by Laichwiltach Knowledge Keepers Shawn Decaire and Cory Cliffe. Campbell’s interest in inviting the ancestors arises from histories of transatlantic slavery where the agency of African people was stolen when they were taken from their lands and forced into another life. 

Recording of Birdsong – Charles Campbell

Our ancestors travel with us, 

in the tangled strands of a double helix, 

in the silence of untold stories, 

in the waiting. 

Let them step right 

on lands that have been wronged. 

A proper invitation and some introductions, 

a welcome, some questions and a meal. 

We’ll keep it simple.

The event will feature Charles Campbell’s Actor Boy persona bringing a “new” perspective and conversation to the current exhibition in the gallery. Actor Boy, a character from the Jamaican Slave celebration, Jonkonnu, is an agent of chaos, a trickster who parodies the culture of his overseers: “He really allows me to enter this imagined fictional realm where a lot more is possible… He comes as an actor that helps us redo things in a better way. He is a figure from another future, the future where we learned from mistakes and didn’t choose to remake them.” 

To complete the performance smoked fish and fry bread will be offered as a gesture of kinship.  

Charles Campbell is a Jamaican-born multidisciplinary artist, writer and curator whose practice investigates the future imaginaries possible in the wake of colonization. Recent exhibitions include Fragments of Epic Memory at the Art Gallery of Ontario and The Other Side of Now at the Perez Art Museum Miami. He currently lives and works on Lekwungen Territory, Victoria BC.

Michelle Jacques is a Curator and writer, born in Toronto to parents of Caribbean origin who immigrated to Canada in the 1960s. She was raised on Dish With One Spoon Territory, and began working in art museums shortly after completing her graduate work at York University, where her research focused on thinking about Canadian Modernism through the lenses of feminism and critical race theory.

Jacques held various roles in the Contemporary and Canadian departments of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; was the Director of Programming at the Centre for Art Tapes in Halifax; and taught courses in writing, art history and curatorial studies at NSCAD University, University of Toronto Mississauga and OCAD University. She is currently the Chief Curator at the Remai Modern on Treaty 6 territory.