While our Zoom heads sit crudely in our low-resolution frames with fake backgrounds and we jerk and start in time with our unforgiving internet connections, Lindsay McIntyre invites us to look at our engagement with this connective tool in a body of new work.
In recent years, artists of Inuit heritage have been telling important stories of personal and cultural change in the age of colonialism, and while many Inuit artists speak of life on the land in the North, others speak specifically of the diasporic experience. Much of McIntyre’s extensive catalogue represents a parallel investigation into her personal identity and family history, as well as media-making itself, its processes, and associated mechanisms. McIntyre recounts her own matrilineal history:
When Knud Rasmussen came to her community on The Danish Ethnographical Expedition to Arctic North America, known as the 5th Thule Expedition in 1921, Kumaa’naaq wasn’t anyone he wanted to speak to. She had the singular skill of speaking English fluently. She didn’t fit the narrative they wanted. She wasn’t ethnographic enough. Her kind could only live in the footnotes of the northern narrative. They were not Inuk enough for the history books. Not valid, collectable knowledge. She wasn’t the one they wanted pictures of. So, there are just a handful of prized photos of her.
McIntyre uses blended technologies to enter into these photographic traces of her grandmother, Kumaa’naaq, to ask questions, expose tensions of identity, depict desires, and create new pathways of communication. In this exhibition, still and moving images along with analogue and digital methodologies come together to explore identity along with some Zoom quirks and its potential to connect us, across vast cultural and metaphorical divides.