What would a polar bear say if he could rap? Why are bowhead whales so sexy? Join Iñupiaq artist AKU-MATU as she brings you to the Arctic through humour, rap, costumes and unique characters.
AKU-MATU’s performance is a part of the Biennial’s Performance and Reading Program: Isonomia in Toronto, a series which takes place within Adrian Blackwell’s two interrelated structures at 259 Lake Shore Blvd E and the Small Arms Inspection Building host weekly performances and readings. Invited guests include poet CAConrad, artists Camilo Godoy and Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Apache violinist Laura Ortman, Sister Co-Resister, and percussionist Marshall Trammell.
Image: AKU-MATU, photo by Christy Chow. Courtesy the artist.
AKU-MATU is the rap name of Iñupiaq interdisciplinary visual and performance artist Allison Akootchook Warden (Iñupiaq, born Fairbanks, AK, USA; lives in Anchorage, AK, USA). She was born in Fairbanks, Alaska with close ties to Kaktovik, Alaska and is now based in Anchorage. Warden’s practice weaves together Iñupiaq narratives and traditions from the past, present, and imagined futures. She is the creator of one-woman show, “Calling All Polar Bears” which in 2011 was part of a National Performance Network residency. Her most recent work is Unipkaaġusiksuġuvik (the place of the future/ancient) at the Anchorage Museum in Alaska in 2016, featured an extensive performative installation piece in which she was present in the gallery for 390 hours over two months. As AKU-MATU, she performed at the Riddu Riddu Music Festival in 2018 as part of the Inuit Circumpolar Hip-Hop Collaboration. In 2018, Warden was awarded the Rasmuson Individual Artist Fellowship in the new genre category.