In the world of Minecraft, a group of artists and curators came together to start Ender Gallery, an exhibition space that hosts artistic residencies every two months. Sarah Friend, Cat Bluemke and Jonathan Carroll are behind the visionary project, hosting their first round of programming in 2021. Partnered with the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan, Ender Gallery aims to explore new ways of constructing creative visions inside of Minecraft, encouraging artists to bring elements from outside the game world into this new possibility, treating the platform as an expressive medium. Participants are invited to create custom textures, shaders, maps and mods, presented through live performance, minigames or video works. Residents for Ender Gallery's inaugural year are Cat Haines (Regina, SK), Simon M. Benedict (Toronto, ON), Huidi Xiang (Pittsburgh, PA) and Travess Smalley (Providence, RI). From June 1st to August 31st, a solo exhibition from Simon M. Benedict titled Odanak - At The Village is presented, followed by an exhibition by Huidi Xiang.
Ender Gallery CA — Ender Gallery Minecraft Artist Residency
Odanak – at the Village is an installation and custom texture pack informed by Simon M. Benedict's ancestral community. Drawing from Kinaw8la – She Takes Care of You, an educational booklet co-authored by his sister Evelyne Benedict and Donna O’Bomsawin, Benedict’s exhibition remixes the default Minecraft environment to incorporate medicinal plants – both native and non-native – currently present on Odanak Abenaki territory. The exhibition features representations of both the natural and built environments of Odanak, reckoning with the ongoing colonial project as it pertains to the Abenaki people. In the wake of recent conversations regarding the Canadian residential school system, Benedict’s project addresses this history while creating virtual spaces for education and healing.
Ender Gallery, an exhibition space and artist residency co-existing in the Minecraft world.
The last solo exhibition hosted was titled (g)Ender Gallery by Cat Haines, which explores Minecraft’s potential for queer and trans intimacies.
Artist, researcher and designer Huidi Xiang is currently working on the next exhibition, which will be a recreation of her real-life artist studio, newly interpreted in this specific context.