Activity Words before all else. Earth


The artwork

Words before all else. Earth

Digital prints, 2020

Skawennati’s presentation consists of films called machinimas, images of avatars and a clothing collection developed in a digital space as well as calico patterns.

Called to action by the passé portrayals of Indigenous peoples as well as their almost total absence from futurist narratives, Skawennati imagines cyberpunk avatars that burst on to scene and demand a future for their communities here and now.

By reinterpreting camouflage patterns, which many Indigenous people wear on reservations or during demonstrations, and the calico motifs of the ribbon shirts that are especially favoured as regalia, the artist is literally occupying the shopping arcade of the Centre de commerce mondial. A conveyer of identity, these patterns exemplify all claims made by First Nations.

The presentation of a Skawennati-signed clothing line is also a manner of counteracting the fast fashions being sold in nearby stores. She breaks with the sometimes nostalgic or folkloric representations of Indigenous people to fully bring them into the 21st century as agents of contemporary shifts and trends.

Through this polymorphous presentation, Skawennati creates an art which takes on history and imagines these communities’ future.

Curator: Marie Perrault


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