“When I arrived, the several months of Duolingo practice and watching Italian movies with subtitles proved useless when spoken to by locals.”
"UNCEDED: Voices of the Land" is an audio-led, projected display of four symbolic territories: sovereignty, resilience, colonization and indigeneity — which meld together to define Indigenous architecture and the forces that have shaped it.
Among the 104 pieces donated are metalworks, carved masks, weavings, and totem poles from a number of artists, including Bill Reid (Haida) and Henry Hunt (Kwakwaka’wakw). The total value of the collection is $1.1 million.
The stories used focused on the everyday lives of Palestinians under occupation, and their dreams and aspirations that extended beyond their everyday reality.
Listening to slippages was initially a challenge. However, after considering the context of the piece, a more interesting thought emerged: this piece isn’t supposed to be conventionally easy to listen to.
Certain pieces are challenging — you will either understand their aim, or you won’t. Indian Candy is an example of this, featuring bright candy coloured portraits of wild buffalo, Geronimo and a warrant letter to arrest Sitting Bull.
The real emotional power of this exhibit comes after context has been achieved. Several pieces highlight the essence of Hexsa’am, where the viewer is granted a window into what this entire exhibit is about: the land.
What should the purpose of one of the largest and most significant student art collections in Canada be? Is it about selling and acquiring pieces to cover costs and grow the collection’s value, or to represent a tradition of the appreciation of Canadian art at UBC?