mnemonic memory | Logan Square

Vanessa Dion Fletcher

2014, 06:05 minutes, colour, No language, sound in the last minute of the video

TAPECODE 2057.02

The city of Chicago is filled with and famous for its numerous public sculptures. Many of these sculptures are categorized as monuments to persons significant to U.S, Illinois and Chicago history. However, within the public art and public consciousness there is very little representation of the Indigenous history.

Indigenous people along the Atlantic coast and the Great Lakes have made wampum beads, out of the welk and quohog shells for thousands of years. The beads were woven into belts as mnemonic devices recording treaties, historical events, and personal social transactions.

Mnemonic Memory seeks to insert Indigenous memory and consciousness into Chicago’s colonial consciousness. The first iteration of this performance was done at the Illinois Centennial Monument in Logan Square. The slow emergence of the belt in public spaces allows for conversation between viewers and myself. I can engage the audience in a conversation about Indigenous and colonial history in Chicago and North America. Simple questions from curious passers-by such as; what are you doing and why are you doing it? Lead to answers about the Council of Three Fires, the Treaty of Grandville and my great grandmother.

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