weweni bimosedaa omaa – Olivia Whetung

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April 25th – 28th, 2013

Opening reception: Thursday April 25th,  7-9 pm
Artist talk: Thursday April 25th, 2pm

weweni bimosedaa omaa is a collection of copper drypoint prints produced by scratching circular plates upon stone shores by hand. After printing the plates were rolled into jingle dress cones and applied to a jingle dress. The project developed from an appreciation for both the aesthetics and utility of copper. Rather than scrapping or destroying the plates (as is common in print practices), the plates are given renewed purpose.

The process of scratching plates on the shore is a performative act which invites participation from the surroundings. The act of scratching the plate is not important because it makes a mark; rather, the mark is important because it records the act of scratching the plate. With this method the artist sacrifices some level of control. Marks made by the stone are affected by many factors including the grain of the stone, the amount of weathering it has endured, and the weather conditions at the time. Rough edges on the plates due to the process of cutting the copper are also visible in the prints. These resultant prints attempt to expose the way they were made rather than to hide it.

Knowledge that the plates have been remade into jingle dress cones changes the viewer’s relationship with the prints. The presence of the prints emphasizes the absence of the jingle dress outfit, which evokes a sense of deprivation and denied access in the viewer. This environment has been created as a response to the lack of control Ojibwe people have over the ways in which our items are viewed and discussed and in particular the treatment of our items as artifacts instead of art. The gallery is a space in which assumptions of a dominant culture are normalized and creative endeavors by non-dominant peoples are often viewed through a lens of race or culture. The items and their makers become objects of cultural interest. Separation of the dress from the gallery space is implemented in an attempt to address the phenomenon of exoticism imposed upon works produced by Indigenous makers.

 

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(no. 01), 73” x 45”, copper drypoint prints, nails, 2013

 

 

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(no. 01), 73” x 45”, copper drypoint prints, nails, 2013 (detail)

 

 

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(no. 01), 73” x 45”, copper drypoint prints, nails, 2013 (detail)

 

 

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(no. 01), 73” x 45”, copper drypoint prints, nails, 2013 (detail)

 

 

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(no. 01), 73” x 45”, copper drypoint prints, nails, 2013 (detail)

 

 

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(no. 03), 28” x 70”, copper drypoint prints, nails, copper wire, sewing pins, 2013

 

 

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(no. 03), 28” x 70”, copper drypoint prints, nails, copper wire, sewing pins, 2013 (detail)

 

 

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(no. 02), 5 panels 18” x 24”, copper drypoint prints, sewing pins, 2013

 

 

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(no. 05), 53” x 42”, copper drypoint prints, copper electrical wire, nails, sewing pins, 2013

 

 

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(no. 05), 53” x 42”, copper drypoint prints, copper electrical wire, nails, sewing pins, 2013 (detail)