T he projects in LandMarks2017/Repères2017 function like trail markers on a journey across the land. They focus on multiple experiences and stories to revisit the ways we understand our histories and envision our futures. Together, they enrich our knowledge of different places by inviting us to question their use and significance — symbolically, socially and environmentally.
The artists involved in LandMarks2017/Repères2017 activate different aspects and interpretations of the word landmark.
In Michael Belmore’s piece, stone sculptures will mirror the movement of the Laurentide Ice Sheet that once covered much of central Canada; while Rebecca Belmore’s sculptures will invite us to listen to the sound of the land. Jeneen Frei Njootli’s work, embedded in the Gwitchin cultural landscape, will emphasize reciprocity of harvest and movements in the shifting land and culture of the North; and Raphaëlle de Groot’s project will be framed by images, objects and stories that have been given and told to the artist by the Minganie people, and that stress the multiple meanings of a landmark.
On the ice at the site of the uniquely designated Pingo Canadian Landmark, Maureen Gruben will show the deep connections among Inuvialuit and their land, inviting reflections on climate change; and Ursula Johnson will engage the Mi’kmaw philosophy of Netukulimk (or self-sustainability) in a shared examination of the ecology of Cape Breton. Together, Cheryl L’Hirondelle and Camille Turner will narrate underrepresented histories through new media — encouraging the creation of future narratives that are interconnected with the land and ideas of freedom.
Douglas Scholes’ walking-based practice will propose alternative ways to explore the Lachine Canal National Historic Site and surrounding area, using ephemeral, beeswax-cast sculptures as markers — an artistic lens through which the site can be experienced. And artist Jin-me Yoon, with her project, will look through time, examining how events that move people across an ocean may also shape our possible futures. And finally, Chris Clarke and Bo Yeung share oral community history and invite visitors to sit in newly created, quiet spaces to reflect on colonization’s impact on the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in.