Tamara Lee-Anne Cardinal, Mekinawewin: to give a gift, Remediation Room Edition, 2021. Day One: Breaking Down Materials

Over six hours of live stream video condensed and edited into a 14-minutes. Day One of the workshop took place at Brian Queen’s papermaking studio located in Otôskwanihk/Mohkínstsis (Calgary). Brian has over 30 years of experience making paper by hand…

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Over six hours of live stream video condensed and edited into a 14-minutes. Day One of the workshop took place at Brian Queen’s papermaking studio located in Otôskwanihk/Mohkínstsis (Calgary). Brian has over 30 years of experience making paper by hand and has worked with a range of materials and techniques. He is one of Tamara’s trusted papermaking mentors. Video edited by Alana Bartol.

Rooted in a circular process of remediation, this multi-day workshop was an invitation into relationship, as a guest to Treaty 7, and a recognition of the role of reciprocity and transformation in processes of repair and restoration.

Throughout several iterations of this project, Cardinal’s focus has been on hosting multiple workshops with various community organizations, families, and individuals. Conversations revolve around Indigenous histories and ways of knowing. In keeping with Nêhiyaw tradition, the artist requested for the first paper sheet that an individual pulled, to stay with the project.

Participants in Otôskwanihk/Mohkinstsis were invited to choose personally relevant materials that they would like to remediate by transforming them into handmade paper.

Materials were paper or plant-based and spanned various sources. In addition to paper documents related to health, family heritage, culture, education, work, and/or political spheres, participants were also invited to bring records, reflections, stories, or documents related to the last year and a half related to COVID-19.

Entrusted with the participant’s materials, Cardinal broke the materials down into pulp over the course of a day.

Diary and journal entries, art, poetry, medical records, email correspondence, news articles, drawings, stories, letters, backyard leaves, prints, invasive weeds, Newton’s second law of motion (force), and oil and gas company documents were among the paper and plant materials pulped.

Documents were not opened or read but treated purely as material to be pulped. Tamara carefully packaged and labeled each participant’s materials for Day 2 of the workshop.

The process was live-streamed, allowing participants to virtually drop in throughout the day, observe, learn, and ask questions.

Remediation Room is a response to the Canadian Energy Centre (CEC), aka “Energy War Room”, an initiative of the Alberta United Conservative government located in Mokinstsis/Otôskwanihk (Calgary) to promote Alberta’s energy industry as part of a Government of Alberta multi-prong strategy that also includes a public inquiry into anti-Alberta energy campaigns.

Remediation Room supports the research and work of artists investigating concepts of remediation in nuanced, thoughtful, and critical ways. Remediation Room aims to foster strategies for collective community building, knowledge sharing, and connections between artists and the public. Remediation Room is curated by Alana Bartol.

Learn more at http://remediationroom.ca

Learn more about Mekinawewin: to give a gift: http://remediationroom.ca/artwork/mekinawewin-day-one

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