Simard produces art and research regarding intensity, burden, bad feelings, and the colonial capital-racial contexts that have created both the TRC and the National Inquiry (NI). The outcome of the artistic products and research completed by Simard are a problematized national narrative of Indigenous Canadian relations. The objective of Simard’s artistic and research production is to advance theory regarding Indigeneity, mental health, culture, and politics. The framework for both artistic and research production is centered in Indigenous-colonial and cultural theory. It examines death-worlds (Mbembe, 2002), refusal (Flowers, 2015), colonialism (Smith, 2014), slow-deaths (Berlant, 2007), and horror (Tuck and Rees, 2013; Smith, 2016; Gordon, 2008). Simard's work utilizes Indigenous queer feminism (Belcourt, 2016), gendered resentment (Flowers, 2015), and insurgency (Gaudry, 2011) as a methodology to the art and research.
Artistic and Research Questions
Both the TRC and the NI track a state of consciousness comprised of grief, threat, and burden. Future endeavors for Simard into both art and research will ask the following questions:
1. How is a state of grief embodied?
2. How is burden and purpose engaged with in the Indigenous-Canadian consciousness?
3. Where and what are the threats to the relationship between Indigenous Nations and Canadian-Colonial Governments?
Current Artistic Practice
Simard’s current practice (2019) consists of low-resolution still and moving images. The consistent use of low-resolution images speaks to a call for accessibility, anti-capitalism, and anti-colonialism. Each image Simard animates illustrates a connection between self to land, emotion, space, and time. Through the poor image, Simard is enabled to precisely capture and name the conditions of life endured by Indigenous people. In 2018, Simard made a series of memes titled “over-researched and under-invested”. This series of memes examined Indigenous LGBTQQIA communities and the specific discrimination two-spirit, trans, and nonbinary individuals face. The series follows current tropes in meme culture to create an Indigenous trans and nonbinary perspective to both queer and meme culture. In 2019, Simard created two new videos, the first titled Prayers for Dreamy Boys and 99 Barrels of Rum. Prayers for Dreamy Boys is an animation that applies traditional Indigenous medicine and ecological knowledge to trans masculine bodies to dream alternate masculinities. Simard animated each lowresolution item in the video and created the soundtrack. In 99 Barrels of Rum, Simard utilized screen shots of google maps to tell the story of the Toronto Purchase, he additionally created the soundtrack using phone audio recording tools. Simard’s master’s thesis in 2017 published his first solo show titled, Bodies that Monetize. The show examined resource extraction as a motive of colonialism and capitalism and poor mental health as a result. The memes captured varied mental health afflictions and the video work spoke to the affects of extraction on mental health. The final product was large scale printed memes and videos on monitors to create a juxtaposed position on embodiment between differing types of bodies.
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