Artist: Caroline Monnet
video | 16mm film transferred to high-definition video, color, sound | 03:00 | 2015

Caroline Monnet’s moving-image works and mixed-media installations combine a precise, formalist approach and a pointed engagement with the contradictions of Indigenous life and identity in Canada. Mobilize utilizes 1960s-era footage from the National Film Board of Canada’s archives depicting Native life and work from the snowy forests and rivers of the north to southern Canada’s urban centers. Set to the song Uja by the celebrated Inuk composer and throat singer Tanya Tagaq, Monnet’s percussive intercutting isolates and juxtaposes examples of Indigenous expertise, from threading snowshoes to making canoes out of a felled birch to positioning steel girders at the top of a skyscraper. In this way the film devises a continuity between traditional and modern labor practices, mapping the trajectories of Native life in the twentieth century.


Whitney Biennial 2019 | 2019.05.17 - 2019.09.22 | Whitney Museum of American Art(New York City, NY, United States)