Slipped Through the Net
vintage shoe lasts, bronze screen, capacitors, resistors, glass beads, metal pulley, copper, rope, twine and deer hide, 2021
40 x 6 x 3 in, 101.6 x 15.2 x 7.6 cm
Estimate: $0 - $0 CAD
Preview at: Heffel Montreal
Collection of the Artist
La Guilde, Montreal, A Journey from Coast to Coast, February 23 - May 7, 2023
Slipped Through the Net and Remnant are two auxiliary works connected to the larger installation of How Can You Expect Me to Reconcile, When I Know the Truth? (2018). In these smaller assemblages, BarryAce has integrated the antique shoe molds he used to shape the bronze screen into child-sized footwear for the installation work. In How Can You Expect Me to Reconcile, When I Know the Truth? all of the moccasin forms are hollow, clinging and cascading down the nautical rope suspended by a pulley system that is positioned like an unbalanced yoke or scale of (in)justice. The rope pools onto the floor where more moccasins become intertwined within the mass. Collectively, these three works consider the impact of the Canadian Indian residential school system on generations of Indigenous children, recognizing that it is a fragmented and entangled history.
In both Slipped Through the Net and Remnant, the bronze screen moccasins cover a solid wooden core are partially embellished with floral motifs, referencing that some traditional knowledge and culture survived the adverse impact of colonization. In his signature style, Ace’s 21st Century iteration of the curvilinear beadwork of Great Lakes material culture references medicinal plants and flowers as healing, while his use of capacitors, resistors, and light-emitting diodes are a simile for Great Lakes beadwork.
A common element to all three works are the deer hide fringes that are attached to the moccasin heels, referencing traildusters used by southwestern and northeastern tribes to erase the tracks left by their footprints. One different aspect in Ace’s positioning of these traildusters is that the fringe falls forward over the moccasins to symbolize that these stories must not be erased. In Remnant, hemp rope wraps around parts of a pulley mechanism from which the shoe last hangs from. In Slipped Through the Net Ace transforms the copper mesh into a rope that suspends the moccasin from a vintage metal pulley. A skirt of mesh encompasses the moccasin which appears to be freeing itself from the confines of the net. Both works are optimistic in their narrative that due to tenacity and perseverance, some of the remnants of culture slipped through; that despite being forced to assimilate to a European semblance, there has always been cultural continuance.
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.
Estimate: $0 - $0 CAD
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