Kent Monkman


Kent Monkman (Cree) is an filmmaker, painter, installation and performance artist born in St. Mary’s, Ontario, in 1965. He was raised primarily in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and is a member of the Fisher River Cree Nation ᐅᒉᑯ ᓰᐱᐩ in Treaty Five Territory. His practice often involves provocative reinterpretations of romantic North American landscapes, exploring themes of colonization, sexuality, loss, resilience, and the complexities of historic and contemporary Indigenous experience. The artist’s gender-fluid, time-travelling alter-ego, Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, frequently appears in Monkman’s artwork to reflect an empowering point of view of Indigenous sexuality pre-contact. He received an Illustration Diploma from Sheridan College of Applied Arts (1986) and an honorary doctorate degree from OCAD University (2017). He has also studied at institutions including Sundance Institute, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and the National Screen Institute. His films and artworks have been widely exhibited at festivals, museums, and galleries internationally, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Toronto International Film Festival, the National Gallery of Canada, Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art, Palais de Tokyo, Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Berlinale, the Royal Ontario Museum, Montreal Museum of Fine Art, the Denver Art Museum, and imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including an Indspire Award (2014), the Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award (2014), and the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (2017). His work is in public and private collections around the world, including the National Gallery of Canada, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Art Gallery of Ontario, among many others. He lives and works in Dish With One Spoon Territory (Toronto, Canada).

ONLINE SCREENING DATES: January 9 – January 30, 2023

FILMS IN THIS PROGRAM: Sisters & Brothers, 3.5 min, 2015
This series is co-selected and presented with COUSIN collective and is generously funded by a Digital Now grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Sisters & Brothers, 3.5 min, 2015

Content warning: This film contains content about Canada’s residential school system. If you require emotional support, please contact the 24-hour Residential School Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419.

In a pounding critique of Canada’s colonial history, this short film draws parallels between the annihilation of the bison in the 1890s and the devastation inflicted on the Indigenous population by the residential school system. – National Film Board of Canada

My mission is to authorize Indigenous experience in the canon of art history that has heretofore erased us from view…. Museums across the continent hold in their collections countless paintings that depict and celebrate the European settlers’ expansion and “discovery” of the North American landscape, but very few, if any … show the dispossession and removal of the First Peoples from their lands. – Kent Monkman 

Watch an interview with Kent Monkman at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. 

Read an article about Kent Monkman’s work in the New York Times. 

Watch and interview with Kent Monkman at the Met.

All stills, photographs, and artwork courtesy National Film Board of Canada © Kent Monkman. Screening co-presented with NFB and Bawaadan Collective.