Among All These Tun­dras

Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Con­cor­dia Univer­sity

Inuit Art Quarterly - - HIGHLIGHTS -

This fall, Dr. Heather Iglo­liorte, Amy Prouty and Charissa von Har­ringa con­vene 11 con­tem­po­rary In­dige­nous ar tists, work­ing across the cir­cum­po­lar North, who ex­plore themes of land, lan­guage, sovereignty and food se­cu­rity. Shared his­to­ries of colo­nial­ism unite the artists and their works to po­et­i­cally ad­dress on­go­ing is­sues sur­round­ing cli­mate change, tra­di­tional knowl­edge and in­dus­try. As a primer, the cu­ra­tors share three high­lights from this much-an­tic­i­pated ex­hi­bi­tion:

In Qa­mu­tiik (2014), as in much of Couzyn van Heu­ve­len’s work, there is a strong fo­cus on ma­te­ri­al­ity. By ap­ply­ing new fab­ri­ca­tion tech­niques and ma­te­ri­als to a time­less Inuit ob­ject, the tense in-be­tween spa­ces of past and pre­sent are re­vealed. Here, a wooden pal­let and a qa­mu­tiik (seld)—both ob­jects used to trans­port food and other goods over great dis­tances—ap­pear as if in­ter­rupted dur­ing an act of trans­for­ma­tion. The syn­the­sis is an un­easy one; in­stead of en­hanc­ing the form’s func­tion­al­ity, the blend­ing of tech­nolo­gies has ren­dered both ob­jects ob­so­lete.

– Amy Prouty Old Films of the New Tale (2016) by Kalaal­lit vis­ual artist Inu­uteq Storch presents rare colour archival film footage dig­i­tally over­laid with his own mu­sic, sounds and voice record­ings. Scenes of Green­landic life— hunt­ing and liv­ing on the land—are ma­te­ri­al­ized through vi­brant im­agery: a seal hunt, women in kamiik and nuilarmiut, Green­landic chil­dren at school ab­sorbed in read­ing, roses in splen­did pinks and more. The dis­cor­dant sounds of screechy vi­o­lins, rue­ful rap­pings and ut­ter­ances in Kalaal­lisut eu­lo­gize the past yet give voice to the land as an om­nipresent wit­ness and bene­fac­tor of mem­ory it­self.

– Charissa von Har­ringa Taqra­lik Par­tridge shares a sneak peek of her work-in-progress Tusarsauvun­gaa? (2018), the se­ries of sewn and beaded mixed-me­dia pieces she will con­trib­ute to Among All These Tun­dras. In this work, Par­tridge iso­lates the front pan­els of an amauti (woman’s parka)—worn at the chest or over the womb and usu­ally adorned in colour­ful, elab­o­rate bead­work— in or­der to draw at­ten­tion to their beauty and sig­nif­i­cance to Inuit women. Par­tridge draws on a seam­stress’ cache of fab­ric, skin and trim as well as a va­ri­ety of other ma­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing lures and coins; we imag­ine how the ma­te­ri­als will catch the light, or even how they might chime and jin­gle as the wearer walks. Per­haps this is to what the ti­tle [ Can you hear me?] al­ludes. – Heather Iglo­liorte

COUR­TESY THE ARTIST

Couzyn van Heu­ve­len (b. 1987 Bow­manville) —ABOVE Qa­mu­tiik 2014Found pal­lets243.8 × 91.4 × 19 cm

COUR­TESY THE ARTIST

Inu­uteq Storch (b. 1989 Sisim­iut/ Copen­hagen) —CEN­TREOld Films of the New Tale (still) 2016Two-chan­nel video 16 min 10 sec

COUR­TESY THE ARTIST

Taqra­lik Par­tridge (Ku­u­jjuaq/ Kau­tokeino) —BE­LOW Tusarsauvun­gaa? 2018Mixed-me­dia in­stal­la­tion Di­men­sions vari­able

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