Conversational Performances: Art by Tanya Lukin Linklater

A photograph of two performers dancing in an art galleryTraces, performance (documentation by Urban Shaman)

Tanya Lukin Linklater’s art practice is based on conversational performances. Often staged in gallery and museum spaces, Tanya’s performances emphasize and honor indigenous traditions of knowledge-sharing, through oration, dance, and other modes of physicality.

A photograph of a dancer mid performanceThe Harvest Studies, performance


I really appreciate seeing what Tanya is able to do within relatively small spaces, and with simple, streamlined costumes and production. Her dances and performances are very focused on the movements and presence of the human form, and the way she and fellow performers interact with space. I get the sense that many of Tanya’s works could be performed almost anywhere. As much as the planned spaces serve to enhance and inspire each performance, the focus remains firmly on the performers themselves.

The front page of Tanya Lukin Linklater's art websiteThe front page of Tanya's portfolio website


This is clear in works like Tanya’s recent Sun Force, where two performers take over a gallery room even while other patrons are still occupying the same space. The paintings on the wall – dynamic abstractions by Rita Letendre – serve, momentarily, as backdrop.


A photograph of a performer in front of a paintingSun Force (performance still courtesy of Art Gallery of Ontario)

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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