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Beam, Carl
untitled
1990

By the use of a photo emulsion transfer technique, Carl Beam’s symbols of Indigeneity-Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce (Niimíipu) and the turtle-appear like apparitions on the surface of the painting. But here, they are partially hidden below an opaque field of white, like a sheet of paper inscribed with lines that suggest writing and a diagrammatic triangle motif, symbols of Western rationalism used repeatedly in the artist’s oeuvre. Poetically evoking the survival of Indigenous knowledge systems, Beam’s work questions the unassailable rationalism that underpinned many assimilationist efforts.

 
Beam, Carl
M'Chigeeng ON 1943-M'Chigeeng ON 2005
untitled
1990
acrylic emulsion on canvas
212.0 x 162.8 cm
Gift of Bruce and Andrea Alexander, 2002
45-022

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