Krista Belle Stewart: Artist Films [Hybrid]

In-Person: Wed Feb 09: 7.30pm PDT
Online: Wed Feb 09: 7.30pm - Fri Feb 11: 7:30pm PDT

Sliding-scale, pay-what-you-can, $0-$25 at $5 increments!

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This program is best viewed in conversation with Krista Belle Stewart’s visual art. Your ticket also entitles you to a special tour of Krista Belle Stewart: Truth to Materialdirectly before the screening, with curator Martin Schwartz. To join, please arrive at Goethe Pop Up Seattle at 6 p.m. on February 9. The Pop Up is located one block away from NWFF, at 1424 11th Ave, Suite 101, in Chophouse Row. Please bring proof of vaccination and ID.

⚠️ Public safety notice ⚠️

NWFF patrons will be required to double-mask while in the building. Disposable masks are available at the door for those who need them. To be admitted, patrons ages 5+ will also be required to present EITHER proof of COVID-19 vaccination OR a negative result from a COVID-19 test administered within the last 48 hours by an official testing facility. Boosters are strongly recommended, though not required for entry.

NWFF is adapting to evolving recommendations to protect the public from COVID-19. Read more about their policies regarding cleaning, masks, and capacity limitations here.

Visiting Artist

This program includes a specially recorded Q&A with the artist, recorded in conjunction with the screening of her films at Northwest Film Forum and the presentation of her exhibition “Truth to Material” at Goethe Pop Up Seattle.


Goethe Pop Up Seattle and Northwest Film Forum present a program of film and video work by Krista Belle Stewart, a Berlin-based artist and member of the Syilx Nation, in conjunction with Stewart’s exhibition Truth to Material currently on display at Goethe Pop Up.

Co-presented with Henry Art Gallery.

About the films:

Seraphine, Seraphine


(2015. HD video, stereo, colour, 38’57”)

In Seraphine, Seraphine, Krista Belle Stewart interrogates and expands the public record of the artist’s mother, Seraphine Stewart, British Columbia’s first Indigenous public health nurse. Next to and juxtaposed with a generally sympathetic but fictionalized 1967 CBC docu-drama on Seraphine Stewart, the film shows filmed testimony Seraphine Stewart gave in 2013 to a Vancouver Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearing. The CBC film gives a version of the elder Stewart’s story in a scripted voiceover, while in her testimony, she narrates aspects of her own experience, from her childhood partly spent in residential schooling on, unmediated by outsiders. Bringing these ways of telling into contact and conflict, in this film work, Krista Belle Stewart underlines issues of agency and authenticity in representations of her family, and challenges audiences to recognize and counteract colonial structures in archival and media practices.

Additional Resources:

International Studio & Curatorial Program: CONCRETE TRUTH: ART AND THE DOCUMENTARY

Haus der Kulturen der Welt: Bodies of Fact: The Archive from Witness to Voice

Potato Gardens Band (Spaxomin version)


(2018. HD video, stereo, colour, 23’)

** Please note that this presentation of Potato Gardens Band takes place in conversation with Krista Belle Stewart’s artistic work, including the iteration of Truth to Material currently installed at Goethe Pop Up Seattle. **

“Krista Belle Stewart’s ongoing project Potato Gardens Band has evoked critical questions regarding the nature of cultural ownership, archives, and truth itself. Each of the three iterations in this series, have incorporated the singing voice of Stewart’s great-grandmother, which was in 1918 recorded on wax cylinders by the anthropologist James Alexander Teit.  Along with this ancestral voice, came jaw harp and tin whistle music, performed by the elder woman’s group, the ‘Potato Gardens Band.’ Over consecutive iterations, Stewart and her collaborators have widened the scope of the complex ancestral dialogue enabled by those recordings. The piece has thus become a fluctuating incantation, of intersecting personal, familial, and cultural memories.

“The final iteration of Potato Gardens Band, video from which is shown in this presentation, took place in 2018 between Stewart’s Spaxomin land and Vancouver’s 221A gallery. Asked to stage a performance, Stewart transmitted a live feed, from her phone, of a speaker system playing her great-grandmother’s recording, on her ancestral land. This performance expressed kinship between individual and ancestral pasts. But crucially, it also constituted a gesture of refusal, directed at the expectation that one’s history and trauma be reified into a cultural commodity, within the neo-colonial industry. The piece’s power lies in this equivocal negation.” (From the artist’s website)

Additional Resources:

ArtPapers: Inaudibility: Krista Belle Stewart’s Sonic Repatriation of Knowledge

Hessel Museum of Art: this is the no thing that we are

About the artist:

Krista Belle Stewart

Krista Belle Stewart

Krista Belle Stewart is a Berlin-based artist and member of the Syilx Nation. Stewart works with video, land, performance, photography, textiles, and sound, using personal and political narratives inherent in archival materials while questioning their articulation in institutional histories. Stewart holds an MFA from the Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College, NY. She was recently an artist-in-residence at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien through the Sobey Art Award Residency Program. Stewart was the recipient of The Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation VIVA for the Visual Arts Award (2019). She is currently a PhD in Practice candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.

Stewart’s work has been exhibited as part of Kunstverein in Hamburg; 39th EVA International Ireland Biennial, Limerick; CTM Festival, Berlin; Hessel Museum, CCS Bard, Annandale-On-Hudson; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Nanaimo Art Gallery; Artspace, Peterborough; SFU Teck Gallery, Vancouver; Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montreal; Musee d’Art Contemporain, Montreal; Independent Studio and Curatorial Program, New York; Plug In ICA, Winnipeg; and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.

Presented with Goethe Pop Up Seattle on the occasion of the exhibition “Krista Belle Stewart: Truth to Material”

December 10, 2021 — February 28, 2022

Goethe Pop Up Seattle is excited to offer a new exhibition by Berlin-based artist Krista Belle Stewart, a member of the Syilx Nation. This solo show, her first in Seattle, will bring components of the artist’s Truth to Material body of work back to Cascadia in a new presentation.

In this work, the artist addresses the Indianer subculture in Germany—a dwindling group of hobbyists who, inspired by uninformed depictions of North American Indigenous peoples in the works of the 19th century German “Western” author Karl May, engage in dress up and role play. Stewart has been researching these Indianer since 2006 and has built personal relationships with participants. Through her artistic “reverse anthropology,” she brings light to the ways in which German popular and hobbyist culture have marginalized and exoticized Indigenous ways of life.

Through a vinyl installation of photos of the Indianer on the gallery floor, sculptural elements, the reddening of the gallery space, and video work—all in the context of a showing in the Pacific Northwest—Stewart’s work in this exhibition radically reformulates questions of authenticity, objectivity, and ethnography.

This exhibition is supported in part by a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Viewing appointments are recommended.

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Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

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