Indian Act
With Indian Act, the horizontal line is used as a method of erasing and abstracting parts of Canada's Federal Legislation pertaining to its 'Indians'. Monumental in scale, it consists of sewing over each of the 56 pages of the annotated Indian Act with red and white glass trade beads. The white beads replace the words and the red beads, the space between them. The overall effect of the beaded page resembles a visual and tactile language, something akin to Morse code or Braille. However, beading the Act also speaks of a sociopolitical activity; each page is pierced by a needle and like a scar bears the stitch, a reminder of its path across the page, and generations of conditioned and controlled Indian lives.
I am a visual artist of Algonkin descent, (Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg) born in Montreal, Quebec. As hybrid as my own identity, my current work is a re-inscription and a reclamation of a lost past, long buried. I am interested in the horizontal line, both as a formal motif and as a symbol of the divisions which separate and bind us: the border crossing from one territory to another, the written text which manifests law, and the barricade which defies it.