Celestial Bodies / Corps célestes  / Enangog Bemaadzojig


JESSE KING, commissaire / curator

07. 06 - 08. 05

Curatorial Text
Jesse King

Celestial Bodies
The Deconstruction of Gender Roles in Colonial Society

by Jesse King

The exhibition Celestial Bodies will showcase indigenous identities that identify as Two-Spirit, indigiqueer, or reside within the LGBTQIA2S communities—giving a platform and space for the rarely recognized voices. The exhibition's goal will be to question the colonial presence of societal normalities regarding identity and deconstruct and abolish gender roles through the themes of desire, euphoria, despair, and dysphoria.

Being Two-Spirit is transcending past the colonel structures that have been forcibly made surrounding identity and gender.

This exhibition explores and responds to the social order that has been surrounding two-spirit and indigi-queer individuals living in larger North America.

Categorization is a significant part of our society, and it is everywhere we look; it is believed to determine the “norm.” Most people immediately start to put individuals into metaphorical boxes of categorization by how they look or how they express themselves.  Being Two-Spirit, Indigi-Queer, or anyone identifying as non-binary is about removing these parameters of exclusion. To remove the meaning that only one gender belongs to a single individual, to deconstruct archetypes and reconstruct spaces for inclusion and a define-less shape of identity. Individuals who identify as being two-spirit, indigiqueer or who belong to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community who are also indigenous have weathered the difficulties of colonization, which ultimately westernized the idea of gender and has created parameters surrounding normality regarding gender, creating a society that allows discrimination, marginalization and the major depleting representation of indigenous culture especially surrounding the values centering around gender and identity.

The public perception of masculinity and femininity is accompanied by terminology and views that are simple, dull, and a cop-out. These same views police who deserve or who should be entitled to wield the embodiment of masculinity and femininity, and an individual can only possess one. Without a doubt, visibility and recognition are crucial for any marginalized community because they acknowledge our existence and allow individuals to see the importance of their identity, being able to see people who look like them and have the same experiences and turmoil, allowing one to feel validated in who they are.

Sadly this isn’t the case for individuals who identify as two-spirit, indigi-queer, or non-binary. We seem always to be overlooked or percieved as needing to be ‘educated’ on our identity; where most of us don’t have the privilege of being taught about our gender identity,  most must prepare and guide themselves with a few little sources or literature. This is why creating this exhibition is so important, not just for the works to be shown; but for the artists involved, for me, and for individuals who see themselves in these works. This space is for them to feel safe and to feel acknowledged finally, we are celestial bodies, and we transcend.

I would like to thank all the artists involved for seeing what the exhibition can be and what it can serve our kin through their unique perspectives and multifaceted storytelling.


                                                                                                                                                                                          Next exhibition︎

daphne operates on unceded lands. We are proud to be a part of this urban island territory, known as Tiohtià:ke by the Kanien’kehá:ka and as Mooniyang by the Anishinaabe, as it continues to be a rich gathering place for both Indigenous and other peoples.


site design by Sébastien Aubin