Zachery Longboy

Video Artist
male
Born
1963
in
Churchill , MB
Canada
Manitoba CA
Lives in
Vancouver , BC
Canada
British Columbia CA
Biography

Video maker, performance/installation artist. Born in Churchill, Manitoba of Sayisi Dene lineage, ECIAD-trained artist Zachery Longboy places his multiple identities as a white-adopted/native gay HIV+ Vancouverite at the centre of his multi-disciplinary practice. His intensely felt, hybridly layered videos often use his complex performance-installations as a departure point. Among his best known is Water into Fire (1994, 10), based on a Banff Centre performance of the previous year: amid a candle-lit, native-iconed space littered with AZT bottles and echoing with traditional drumming and vocals, Longboy himself performs a nude choreography as a giant, shrieking bird, and one unforgettable shot features his whole body perched on one leg, his eagle eye staring right into the lens. The image-track is varied with Longboy's signature recourse to natural image of flowing water, woods and meadows, and PWA voices intrude on the soundtrack, meditating on a mortality that is like "climbing a ladder." Longboy coordinated the First Nations Video Access Programme in Vancouver. His other AIDS-themed works included Choose Your Plague (with Paul Lang, 1993, 6), and the PSA Living Tree (1993, 30 seconds). Those works concentrating most on the clash of his native heritage with his white urban cultural environment include Eating Lunch (1992, 12), Confirmation of My Sins (1995, 12), and The Stone Show (1999, 9). Longboy is nationally honoured, widely shown in queer and First Nations venues, as well as in public collections.