• Artists: Aylan Couchie, Jason Baerg, Logan MacDonald, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Ryan Rice (curator)
  • Medium: Multimedia Installation
  • Project Type: Creation : Destruction
  • Curator: Layne Hinton and Rui Pimenta
  • Neighbourhood: Fort York

A projection on the side of a heritage structure exposes the layers of Indigenous presence in Fort York.


Fort York National Historic Site

  • Address: 100 Garrison Rd
    (project is located inside the original Fort York site)
  • Public Washrooms: No
  • Physical Access: Wheelchair accessible, uneven surface throughout the viewing area
  • Indoors/Outdoors: Outdoors
  • Content: Other (please specify)

The Project

A media projection cast upon a blockhouse—a heritage fortification at Fort York—will tease out remnants of Indigenous presence buried in the strata of place and memory threaded through vignettes. Each artist in “Listen to the Land” will take a different approach. Logan MacDonald will counter the longstanding colonial dominance constructed upon the surface of the site, overpowering those histories by projecting imagery of natural elements as both creative and destructive forces. Jason Baerg will animate the site’s evolving memory and knowledge through an encoded language of abstractions. The lens will shift from battles, cannons and gunfire to microscopic biological life in Vanessa Dion Fletcher’s re-envisioning of colonial violence to reorient the natural sustainability of site. Aylan Couchie will reintroduce Nishinaabemowin, a land-based describing language which predates Fort York by thousands of years. Nishnaabemowin’s function as a placeholder pushes back upon continued colonial naming and claiming of place.

The Artists

Placeholders is Aylan Couchie, Jason Baerg, Logan MacDonald, Vanessa Dion Fletcher (artists) and Ryan Rice (curator). This collective of creative activists embodies the diversity Indigeneity offers. Their name, Placeholders, addresses their relationship to land, diplomacy and language experienced through Indigenous bodies, representing the diaspora of an evolving urban community navigating past, present and future.


Video Mapping: J-S Gauthier, Creative Software Developer: Kyle Duffield, Documentation Assistant: Kaiden Fontaine, Nishnaabemowin Consultant/Audio Performer: Blair Beaucage, Consultation: Immony Men, and thank you to OCAD University Life Science Department.