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Poor Life of Dismay: Reece, Crait & 2Bears 

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Roger Crait, Skeena Reece, Jackson 2Bears
Poor Life of Dismay
October 26 2006

grunt's collaborations with First Nations performance artists has continued for almost 20 years. In the fall of 2006, three emerging Aboriginal artists joined forces in a cabaret called Poor Life of Dismay. Roger Crait, joining us from Winnipeg, and Vancouverite Skeena Reece stimulated emotions and thoughts through live performance and spoken word. Jackson 2Bears complemented the performance with his mix of music and images.

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Jackson 2Bears is a Kanien'kehaka (Mohawk) multimedia artist and theorist currently based in Victoria BC. 2Bears' installation works have been exhibited nationally in artist-run centres, public galleries, and in group exhibitions internationally. He has performed across Canada and has released several recordings on CD and DVD in both solo and collaborative contexts. 2Bears is represented musically by the Foundation Music studio in Toronto ( From 2000-2003, 2Bears scored several independent films, including the award-wining short feature Blood River by Kent Monkman and Urbannation. He is also a co-founder of the Toronto-based artists' collective Liminal Projects (, and Victoria-based collective Fort9 ( 2Bears is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Victoria.

Roger Crait is an expressionistic painter who, often with satire and social commentary, joins images of his urban Aboriginal life and apocalyptic fantasies. In one of his thickly-painted works, a space shuttle hurtles toward a city of towers and tepees. Sometimes text intrudes, as in his series of word paintings in which he coins words like aboriginatives. Crait has exhibited his work in Australia and most recently on Plug In's Osborne Street billboard.

Skeena Reece is of Tsimshian, Gitksan and Cree descent. Her broad talents range from performance, to film and video, mixed-media performance environments and arts administration.

Reece's performances include Rock For Choice (Van East Cultural Centre), Covered (ANZA), and Connect (Railway Club), as well as participation in the Under the Volcano Festival, Native Blues Nite and Crabfestival in Gingolx BC. She has been programmed for CBC Radio One and included on two CDs: Redwire's Our Voice is Our Weapon and Our Bullets are the Truth, and Coastal Tongue: An Anthology of Women in Spoken Word in Vancouver. In performance, Reece has collaborated with guitarist Jason Burnstick and singers Okalani and Kinnie Starr, and shared stages with Buffy Saint Marie, Sandy Scoffield, Joy Harjo, Marie Clements, Margo Kane and Tom Jackson.

As a Media Arts student at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Reece created films and videos, completed short documentaries and developed many mixed media performances. In addition, she has been Coordinator of the Vancouver IMAGeNation Aboriginal Film and Video Festival (2002) and a Travelling Film Fest in Prince Rupert, BC.

After having received rave reviews for her reading in The Vagina Monologues at the Talking Stick Festival in 2004, Skeena Reece is now interested in acting for film.

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The links below launch video of the group performance "Poor Life of Dismay". A high-speed connection is required.

Skeena Reece

Roger Crait

Jackson 2Bears

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