window Winnipeg: topographies of a homeplace window installation


Location: Artspace Building, corner of Bannatyne @ Arthur [sidewalk level]

window is pleased to present our fifty-second installation:

topographies of a homeplace,

vinyl, digital prints of beaded maps, 6 x 6', 2021.

Featuring work by rudy aker and curated by Marie-Anne Redhead, on view until October 14, 2021.

topographies of a homeplace

-rudi aker

topographies of a homeplace is an ongoing research-creation project exploring counter-cartographies and mnemonic narratives through topographical beaded maps. Informed by familial experiences, cultural histories, and personal memory, topographies of a homeplace engages a process of automatic writing alongside abstracted map-making. In its first iteration, topographies of a homeplace: wolastokuk, documented five culturally significant sites with a focus on corresponding bodies of water – to connect intimate and communal understandings of Wolastoqiyik homelands. The wolastokuk topographies are both spatial and emotional expressions of a connection (and disconnection) to ancestral territory, to a home, and to the conflicting histories which surround and contextualize these spaces.

topographies of a homeplace: nikonuk (series II), the second iteration of the counter-mapping project features five new maps delineating immediate and emotionally robust expressions of another series of homeplaces and spaces. The nikonuk maps demarcate a succession of past apartments, living situations, and ultimately, a home of one's own. The focus on the interior landscapes tends to more concrete conventions of domestic space – the accompanying writings work to inhibit a private inquiry in which love, longing, grief, and joy have and do occur. Created within the confines of global pandemia, when and where mobility has been extremely limited, this series engages the reconciliatory heart-work necessary to extend notions of home to include the transitory: the in-between, the making-do.

At its core, topographies of a homeplace centralizes a sovereign practice of map-making, separate from the colonial conquest to assert ownership over nations, of people and their territories. These maps offer a queered alternative – as tools whose function is dependent on their holder or seer – to reiterate the question of utility, mobility, and temporality within a longer lineage of histories.

* topographies of a homeplace: wolastokuk was first presented in the form of an artist book.

About the artist:

rudi aker is a wolastoqew auntie, artist, organizer, and curator from St. Mary's First Nation in Sitansisk (Fredericton, New Brunswick) and, for now, a guest on Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyaang (Montreal, QC). Their artistic and research practices center care, relationality, placehood, and visibility with a focus on the traversal of (un)colonized spaces through conceptions of counter-cartographies and barrier-breaking.

Their ongoing research-creation project, topographies of a homeplace, explores the boundaries of cartographic practice through beaded spatial representations – hand-held topographical maps accompanied by historically and personally informed auto-writing on site-specific experiences.

About the curator:

Marie-Anne Redhead (Ininiw/francophone) writes things, and sometimes curates or creates. She is currently a guest on Treaty 1 territory.

window is located on Treaty 1 Territory, the original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples and the homeland of the Metis Nation. Window is co-curated by Noor Bhangu, Mariana Muñoz Gomez, and Sarah Nesbitt.

This installation was made possible with the generous support of the Winnipeg Arts council and Manitoba Arts Council.