Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Peter Morin's Cultural Graffiti in London

"Buckingham palace. thousands of people. set up the blanket. put on your armor. sing the song. the song that is a Tahltan river rushing inside of me. the drum speaks. it says 'this drum supports indigenous voice.' the drum beats are bullets. does anyone know this? (only me.) sing the song. fall down and sing the song into the land. drum and sing around the monument. overheard conversations: 1. I think he thinks he's an Indian. 2. shhhh. this is an indigenous performance. i also hear applause." Peter Morin, 2013

"We are alive, we remain, we are vibrant, you did not win." Morin, 2013

"Peter Morin produces art that honors his home and the stories, words and songs of his people from the traditional territory of the Tahltan Nation. His work animates the histories of indigenous objects and connects with the ancestors of these objects through different modes of performance: song, stand-up comedy and oration. His art is a record of his ongoing process of understanding and practicing his culture and language. His voice is Tahltan. It comes from the land." (Bio as it appears in Cultural Graffiti in London: Singing life into exhibitions and embodying the digital document by Helen Gilbert)

In his 2013 project Cultural Graffiti in London, Morin performed Tahltan songs in semi-traditional clothing directly into the land and architecture of various monuments in London, such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Princess Diana's Memorial Fountain and the alleged grave of Pocahontas.

"Monuments perform, provoking viewers to think about the past and often involving the audience in a social bond intended to instill historical consciousness." Mechtild Wildrich (from aforementioned manuscript)

His belief is that these songs leave their mark on the monuments in the same way as graffiti, but perhaps even more subversively so, because they cannot be removed. "This sonic rebellion against the hegemonic exercise of colonial power involved an assertion of cultural resistance that often ended with the statement 'we are still here.'" (Gilbert)

The Artist Sings: Peter Morin in Conversation  (Video)

For more info:

Cultural Graffiti in London: Singing Life Into Exhibitions

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