Thursday, April 14, 2011

Migration and the ways we look at art.

Joe Talirunili, c1974. Art Gallery of Ontario.

You know what I like about Inuit art? There is a certain honesty about it. It captures the life of the Inuit in simple, uncluttered terms. I don't envision the Inuit soapstone carver, sitting back in his chair thinking "I must make a really unique, different, creative statement today." And, I sometimes wonder what the Inuit must think about our relentless search for artistic unorthodoxy.

When I see these small, stone people paddling together I see a people who have learned to survive through communal effort. It reflects a culture where unorthodoxy creates individuals who stand apart from the pack and isolation ia the worst of all fates for the Inuit.

There are no "aha" moments in Inuit art. They don't search for intellectual profundity. They don't see it as a vehicle for inner illumination. Its take it as you see it art.

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