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Ojibwe Cultural Foundation (M’Chigeeng, Odawa Mnis (Manitoulin Island, Ontario)
AUGUST 15 – OCTOBER 15, 2016

CURATOR Anong Migwans Beam

Nayaano-nibiimaang Gichigamiin: The Five Great Lakes presents a brand new series of Anishinaabe honouring blankets with mnemonic recounting blanket strips for each of the Five Great Lakes: the traditional territory and homeland of the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi peoples). This textile work replicates traditional Great Lakes’ floral and geometric motifs, but they are made from reclaimed and salvaged electronic circuitry (capacitors, microchips, resistors, and diodes) that act as metaphors for cultural continuity (antithesis of stasis), bridging the past with the present and the future. The Hudson Bay trade blankets carry with them a longstanding narrative and response to colonization; acts of self-determination and a complicated economic trade history between the original peoples of the Great Lakes and newly arrived settlers, but these blankets also carry with them significant culture-based signs and semiotics. This body of work explores these aspects of the trade blanket.

The exhibition is further complimented by a special work gifted by the artist to the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, entitled Bandolier for M’Chigeeng. Ace’s contemporary animated Anishinaabe bandoliers are generously embellished works with complex bead and electronic component floral motifs. Embedded in the front of this bandolier bag is a new media digital tablet streaming the transformation of the sacred thunderbird and underwater panther, acknowledging the significance of cultural continuity of traditional knowledge and the on-going confluence between the historical and contemporary in Anishinaabeg culture

Click here to download the legend for the Great Lakes Blankets.

Nayanno Nibiimaang Gichigamin exhibition catalogue with introductory essay by Anong Migwans Beam.