This week’s guest is Multimedia & Performance Artist, Terrance Houle. Terrance is a prolific and successful artist from Calgary, Alberta, who also happens to be a First Nations Canadian. I’ve known Terrance for years, having interviewed him for another online magazine I was involved in, NAICA online, years back. Then I met him a year or so later at a film festival in Toronto, and have kept in touch over the years, but not as frequently as either or us would like.
In the years that we haven’t kept in touch he has created a series of performances and installations that are, perhaps more sophisticated than his earlier works, but still bear his signature sensibilities in that they are hilarious, and include community building performance sets, such as his latest project, The National Indian Leg Wrestling League of North America in which he, and a crew of First Nations artists, adopt old-time wrestling personae. and take to mats across Canada to work out post colonial stereotypes, and have a good time leg wrestling.
His work is imbued with humor and merriment, but is also densely packed with historical and cultural significance. However, Terrance doesn’t beat his audience over the head with critical theories that don’t get to the point quick enough for his liking, which makes his work accessible to a broader audience, and is partly responsible for his latest successes. I’m actually a little jealous of him because he has the balls to put his work out there and has seen some success, enough to make his living primarily from art production, and good art at that!
So, I hope you enjoy this conversation, there were a few technical difficulties, Skype doesn’t do well Internationally, but it’s good enough! I think you’ll enjoy what he has to say, and if you do, go look him up and buy some of his work!
Terrance Houle on the Interwebs:
Photo © Will Wilson