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Sean Stiller: Cyéwmen

June 8 – July 2, 2017
Student Gallery, Ryerson Image Centre

Cyéwmen is a meditation on a cycle of sustenance woven through traditional knowledge of the Secwepemc—a people defiantly standing against the brutal efficiency of commercial fishing and resource extraction. For First Nations salmon are not a resource to be managed sustainably; they are beings in the world with inherent dignity and value in the eyes of the creator. Cyéwmen, an immersive installation experience, is an invitation to understand through one’s sensory experience and feeling of the world. It reflects a deeply Indigenous worldview, where the acquisition of knowledge is fluid and non-linear—the outcome of self-guided exploration. Cyéwmen is also part of the DocNow Festival.

A woman wearing a striped shirt looks out over a landscape, her hands behind her back
Fig. 1

Sean Stiller, Rose overlooking Setetkwe (Fraser River) during the summer salmon run, film still from Cyéwmen, 2017. Courtesy of the artist

 

Artist Bio

Sean Stiller

Sean Stiller is an emerging Canadian-Secwepemc lmmaker based in Toronto, Ontario. His work largely centers on Indigenous and social justice issues in Canada, as well as experimental and transmedia documentary practice.

He is currently completing his MFA in the Documentary Media program at Ryerson University. His thesis is entitled Cye?wmen ( sh camp). Currently in production, it will be presented as an immersive installation experience of the traditional Secwepemc (Shuswap) salmon sh camp. He is also completing a documentary lm exploring the crises of Secwepemctsi?n language loss and the transformative potential for Indigenous language revival.

Installation Shots

Two adjacent screens play video: on the left, a mountain range, on the right, a man guts a fish. In the room, two black leather benches sit in the foreground
Fig. 1

Sean Stiller: Cyéwmen (installation view), 2017 © James Morley, Ryerson Image Centre

A projection of a grassy hillside covers a white wall. In the room, a black leather bench sits in the foreground
Fig. 2

Sean Stiller: Cyéwmen (installation view), 2017 © James Morley, Ryerson Image Centre

Two adjacent screens play video: on the left, a mountain range, on the right, a man stands with a tall stick. In the room, two black leather benches sit in the foreground
Fig. 3

Sean Stiller: Cyéwmen (installation view), 2017 © James Morley, Ryerson Image Centre