Ikumagialiit: Performance Art Band

Ikumagialiit (Things That Need Fire)

Ikumagialiit (‘those that need fire’) is a new performance art band with Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Christine Tootoo, Cris Derksen and Jamie Griffiths. The Ikumagialiit quartet is egalitarian, bringing together four strong women from different disciplines, across generations.

Turning towards the question of how to hold space for fear when pressure is mounting, Ikumagialiit takes on the metaphor of the bowhead whale, learning how to breathe in the depths and exploring Inuit practices of meditation and spiritual skill-building to make this journey.

Ikumagialiit’s premiere performance is on November 16, 2019 at 1pm, during the exhibition run of the NGC’s Àbadakone / Continuous Fire / Feu continuel an international indigenous performance art exhibition, at the National Gallery of Canada.

Ikumagialiit was commissioned by the National Gallery of Canada for Àbadakone / Continuous Fire / Feu continuel in 2019. Funding has also been provided through The Inuit Art Foundation’s Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Fund.

Cris Derksen at the Remai Modern, Saskatoon
Cris Derksen at the Remai Modern, Saskatoon Photo credit: Carey Shaw

Ikumagialiit came together last month to rehearse in Iqaluit during the filming of an artist profile on Laakkuluk, for the CBC TV series In The Making, with a live performance at House 411 during Nunavut Music Week.

Laakkuluk setting up sound/energy to start the show
Remai Modern, Saskatoon
Photo credit: Carey Shaw

Working through structured improvisations, performances explore contemporary Uaajeerneq (Greenlandic mask dance), throat singing, electric cello/beats with hand-drawn ‘light’ and video.

The CBC episode of In The Making will air across Canada in November to close the series, just before the live performance at the National Gallery of Canada.

Jamie Griffiths, experimenting with projections onto ice, inside the rehearsal illu.
Christine Tootoo lighting the qulliq, to start the rehearsal.