New Red Order, Never Settle: Calling In, 2018. Still from video. Courtesy the artists.

New Red Order: Give it Back

January 14 – March 6, 2021
Audain Gallery, Hastings Street Windows

New Red Order (NRO) is a public secret society of rotating membership that works to re-channel settler desires for Indigeneity into supports for Indigenous futures. Formed in contradistinction to the Improved Order of the Red Men and The Degree of Pocahontas — North American organizations founded in the late nineteenth century exclusively for white men and women to “play Indian” — NRO imagines that the appropriative impulses at the heart of these societies can be redirected. Using strategies as diverse as calling out and calling in, recruitment, and cumulative interrogation, the work of NRO aims to shift potential obstructions to Indigenous growth.

In Give it Back, a street-facing window exhibition, New Red Order squarely engages with the politics of Land Back, which leads to calls to restore stolen Indigenous territories to Indigenous people. Presented on unceded Indigenous territories in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, the project reveals instances where the repatriation of land, from settlers to Indigenous communities, has been promised, resisted, or enacted. Beyond the necessity of disrupting settler colonialism with the need to take back land, Give it Back investigates and promotes another mode of return, through actualized gestures of land being voluntarily released to Indigenous people. Using videos and a real-estate ethos, Give it Back unfolds to chart a speculative future history of the movement.

Linking with NRO’s persistent deconstruction of the idea of an Indigenous informant — a term that describes a person who reveals too much of their own communities, in either legal or anthropological contexts — which involves acknowledging NRO members’ own complicity as informants, Give it Back speculates on the recuperative potential of calling in others, settlers included, to inform with them. In foregrounding voluntary practices of land’s return, the work offers the potential for the undoing of settler colonialism by those who stand to benefit most from its upholding. 

For this exhibition, New Red Order core contributors Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, and Jackson Polys are joined by Virgil B/G Taylor. Working in filmmaking, performance and installation art, New Red Order have presented their work internationally, expanding the public secret society network across numerous institutional platforms.

Virgil B/G Taylor makes fag tips, an online speculative zine. He is one half of sssssssssSsss, a study-friendship with Ashkan Sepahvand, and a member of What Would An HIV Doula Do?, a collective of artists, writers, caretakers, activists and more gathered in response to the ongoing HIV/AIDS pandemic. His work explores histories of care and crisis, magic, and toxicity. 

Presented in partnership with DOXA and Cineworks.

Curated by cheyanne turions