Conversations with the Land – Jamie Black
October 2016 - December 2016
Conversations with the Land
~The knowledge of where I come from is in my bones and in my blood. The result of this knowing is, oftentimes, pain. It is out of this place that I create and become a vehicle for healing.~ Marjorie Beaucage, Métis activist, writer
My work is situated in an understanding of the body and the land as sources of historical and cultural knowledge and is centered around themes of memory, identity, place and resistance. I am interested in the body/land as sites of social and political struggle, sites of historical and collective memory and as vulnerable and often contested spaces. I am interested in the ways in which we can re-establish agency and resilience through interactions between the land and the body.
Through my ongoing installation The REDress Project, I have placed the absence of the body as central to the work. This work involves empty red dresses installed ‘floating’ in public space as a spectral reminder of the hundreds of murdered or disappeared Aboriginal women across Canada. This installation piece attempts to situate the Indigenous female body as a contested entity and the specific target of colonial violence while reclaiming space for an Indigenous female presence.
Contested Territory is a print series that tracks the colonization of the female body as it relates to the seizure and colonization of Indigenous land in Canada. This work connects the body and the land, accessing body and blood memory tied to space and place and the tensions that are created when the land/body are the site of colonial struggle. Through this work I am exploring the transmission of culture through the land and the body as well as the use of borders and mapping as tools of colonization.
My most recent photo based work, Conversations with the Land further explores the relationship between place/space and the body, touching on themes of cultural memory, history and identity. This body of work involves directly interacting with the landscape(space/place) through performative acts, encounters and elements of installation. The resulting photographic images act as documentation of these intimate encounters giving expression to both personal and collective memory.
Opening Reception Thursday October 6th 6-8 pm Free Admission with dainties and mocktails!