Bloodline #7 / Jiimaan (Canoe) / Tekahionwake (Pauline Johnson) Triptych
direct digital print, acrylic capacitors, resistors, light-emitting diode, glass beads, electronic connector component on paper
signed and dated 2020
7 x 19 in 17.8 x 48.3 cm
Collection of the Artist
Each work measures 5 x 7 inches and 7 x 5 inches.
A portrait of an unidentified Indigenous man is at the centre of this triptych that positions historical images in a dialogue with each other. His gaze is direct, his body anchored between the simulated beadwork of a flower motif and a dashed stroke of red paint. To the left is an iconic image of Tekahionwake, also known by her Christian name of E. Pauline Johnson, the renowned Canadian poet and entertainer of mixed Settler (English) and Indigenous (Kanien'kehá:ka: Mohawk) ancestry.1 Her mother immigrated from Britain, her father was a hereditary Chief. Born in the 19th century, she began her life at Six Nations reserve, a tract of land near present day Brantford, Ontario that was given to the Haudenosaunee for their alliance with the British Empire during the American Revolutionary War. As an adult, she travelled across the newly formed Dominion of Canada many times to perform her poetry for white audiences. On the paperwork Ace has stitched a quill and feather to reference her role as a writer as well as make a visual node to her book, Flint and Feather, published in 1912. The image on the right is of a pair of Chippewa (Anishinaabe) women in a jiimaan (canoe). Between them sits a young child as well as a baby in a tikinagan, the cradleboard that Anishinaabe, as well as many other First Nations, carried their infants in. The jiimaan is made of wiigwaas (birch bark), the traditional material used to wrap around the wood frame of a canoe. The embellished flower, made of electronic components, as well as the paint stroke motif is echoed in all three paper works. The triptych speaks to how, in many archival images of Indigenous people, the sitter was unknown, remaining nameless in the archive; yet if they had significance to European culture, and like Johnson could perform in both worlds, they could be known. Their names were deemed important and recorded for posterity.
We thank Leah Snyder, digital designer and writer, The L.Project, for contributing the following essays. Snyder writes about culture, technology and contemporary art, and is a contributor to the National Gallery of Canada’s Gallery magazine and other Canadian art and architecture publications.
All quotes attributed to the artist unless otherwise noted.
This work is accompanied by a letter of authenticity and provenance signed by the artist
Price: $2,000 CAD
Available for viewing at: Heffel Montreal
All prices are in Canadian Dollars
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