Indian Act (détail)
[Loi sur les Indiens]
Tissu, papier imprimé, perles, fil, ruban adhésif et aiguille
46 x 38,7 x 5,5 cm
Acheté pour la collection Prêt d’œuvres d’art en 2005, transféré à la collection permanente du Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
Collection du Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, 2008.201
© Nadia Myre / CARCC (2018). Photo : MNBAQ, Idra Labrie
The 1876 Indian Act, which made Indigenous people wards of the Crown, remains a blot on Canadian history. Close to 125 years later, Nadia Myre denounced the discriminatory and exclusionary nature of this law with Indian Act. To subvert and re-appropriate the legislative text, she used the traditional technique of beading. White beads replace the words on the first 56 pages of the Act, rendering it null and void. Created with the assistance of 200 volunteers, the work exposes and decries a colonial policy still partially in effect today.
Although Indian Act dates to 2000-2002, it fittingly represents 1876 here. This work underlines the significance of the Act in the production of Nadia Myre, a multidisciplinary artist of Algonquin heritage who claimed and obtained Indian Status in 1997. While the concepts of identity quest and cultural hybridity recur in many of her works, her primary aim is to take back and retell Canada’s history by exposing the country’s colonial narrative. Language and symbols as communication tools are important in Myre’s rewriting, and she freely mixes traditional ancestral crafts, like beading, with official means of communication, like legislative text.