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Surface Memory: Understanding the Uncanny through the Use of Projection in Adrian Stimson’s Bison in the Bowl: This is Indian Land (2005)

McMillan, Madeleine (2019) Surface Memory: Understanding the Uncanny through the Use of Projection in Adrian Stimson’s Bison in the Bowl: This is Indian Land (2005). [MRP]

Item Type: MRP
Creators: McMillan, Madeleine
Abstract:

This major research paper investigates the role of the uncanny in unsettling colonial knowledge through the use of projection in three site-specific installations created by Adrian Stimson, Julie Nagam, and Evann Siebens. Each of these artists create an intersection between the projected image, the site, and the spectator. The purpose of the works can be understood through the Freudian concept of the uncanny, in which a space that was once familiar is turned unfamiliar. These artists activate the uncanny to challenge colonial understandings of the landscape and to establish spaces of resistance. In this way, I argue that projection installations are uncanny in nature, as they attempt to rewrite the spectator’s understanding of the spaces they are projected upon. I use Anne Friedberg’s material analysis of the “screen,” Eve Tuck and C. Ree’s theory of decolonial “haunting,” and Jacques Lacan’s concept of the “mirror stage” to analyze the installations through the lens of psychoanalytic and decolonization theory. By harnessing the (im)material aspects of projection art, these artists create uncanny spaces that bring about a return of what has been repressed or strategically removed from the land. The sites become uncanny environments, each one respectively becoming haunted and unsettled, inviting the spectator to pause and question their own relationship to the space. The sites also put into question the selectivity of the institutional archive and of national cultural memory through the act of reminding the spectator of what has been erased from the land.

Date: April 2019
Uncontrolled Keywords: projection, uncanny, site-specific, site-specificity, haunting, Adrian Stimson, spectatorship
Divisions: Graduate Studies > Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories
Date Deposited: 14 May 2019 15:10
Last Modified: 14 May 2019 15:10
URI: http://openresearch.ocadu.ca/id/eprint/2527

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