Starting Tuesday, January 15 (until Sunday, March 24), the Museum of Anthropology invites you to experience Alan Michelson’s immersive, four-channel video installation, TwoRow II (2005).
This innovative installation takes viewers in opposite directions along two banks of the Grand River, which divides the Six Nations Reserve from settler townships in Ontario. The tensions are underscored by competing and colliding soundtracks that highlight the friction between narratives about the river as told by Six Nations residents and a non-Native tour-boat captain. Michelson merges two cultural traditions—Euro-American tourist panoramas and Aboriginal Wampum belts—in his evocation of the river as a metaphor for co-existence and contact between different peoples.
In this purple-tinted projection, Michelson references the historic Two Row Wampum, which is thought to embody a 17th-century agreement between the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) and the Dutch. The parallel rows of purple and white beads on the belt symbolize the course of two vessels on a river, and the laws, customs, and traditions of each group that were to remain parallel and inviolate.
Alan Michelson is a Mohawk member of Six Nations of the Grand River. Known for his multi-layered, multimedia installations, his work has been widely exhibited, most recently in the 18th Biennale of Sydney (2012) and, in 2005, the solo show Alan Michelson: Revealing the Absent Indian at the National Museum of the American Indian in New York. In 2011 he was named both the Invited Artist/Fellow of the Eiteljorg Fellowship for Native American Fine Art, and the first Visual Arts Fellow of the Native Arts and Culture Foundation.
TwoRow II is generously loaned by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa and will be curated by Karen Duffek, Curator, Contemporary Visual Arts & Pacific Northwest.
Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia 6393 NW Marine Dr, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z2 View Map