Dr. Phil (2006)
I have been thinking about code-switching lately—the way I am a bit more myself with family. Pootoogook’s (1969–2016) work Dr. Phil seems to reach me there. It was me as a child, watching cartoons with a blanket over the heat register in the winter. It was my new comforter and bare feet. Tiles on the floor splitting the room open for us like a book. The roof at the top of the page. It was a revelation to me that someone would bring that personal space and make it available. It was like being seen. This specificity exists in her work, and generously invites us in. Personally, as a younger artist, it provided me with an idea that even my unremarkable life and experiences might be worth articulating. And that articulation might be resonant for someone else. With Pootoogook’s work this is made even more available by the materials she used. Even I had pencil crayons. And, in that small private scale, I might feel brave enough to try.