trade value series

2009 - ongoing

 

(official denial) trade value in progress   (click on image for more info)

2010 -2016

(forestforthetrees) trade value 1 -714  (click on image for more info)

2009

(official apology) 913 words: trade value unknown   (click on image for more info)

2009

The ‘trade value’ series is part of ongoing explorations into intersections of place, identity and (dis)location that draw on and critically examine personal and historical narratives. Enacting interventions into dominant and reductive national narratives though theoretical, digital, material and dialogic explorations, the works in ‘trade value’ consider contemporary conditions of colonial legacies, including the ongoing impact of a ‘settler’ presence. I engage in this investigation through critical analysis of my settler position, and with a commitment to decolonization movements.


Building on references in previous work, subtle allusions to the land and landscape in the ‘trade value’ series - a horizon of winter trees, a bird’s eye view of cultivated fields, a fire ravaged forest – play integral, conceptual roles. Landscape acts as a politically, socially and culturally mitigated representation which is inextricably tied to dominant constructions of national identity. The land serves as the perpetual witness connecting all those who inhabit it and as such, cannot be excised from the histories that took place on it or from its conflicting positions as one people’s necessary foundation, another’s lucrative plunder and yet another’s place of refuge.


‘trade value’ enlists the notion of trade as both a manifestation and a metaphor for relationships between peoples. Highlighting this metaphor, the Hudson Bay Point blanket serves as a conceptual source in this work incorporated in material and digital form as an activated historical document, a witness, a story and a teller. A highly charged symbol of the inception of this country, they can be seen as Canada’s first currency and are implicated in the devastating spread of disease to Aboriginal communities. Purged of any negative undercurrents in contemporary consumer culture, they have come to be a national icon and a costly luxury item.  The works in ‘trade value’ enlist and disrupt these conflicting connotations to foreground the complex histories and contemporary conditions of settler colonialism with a view towards contributing to equitable paths forward.

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