annie pootoogook
Annie Pootoogook, Saturday Afternoon, 51 x 66 cm, pentel, coloured pencil.
Image taken from Dorset Fine Arts.

Yay! for Annie Pootoogook. She just won the Sobey's Art Award, which makes me happy.

- sally mckay 11-08-2006 9:14 pm

I'm a recent convert, Cape Dorset rocks.
- L.M. 11-08-2006 9:17 pm

She also got invited to Documenta. Pretty impressive week for her.
- Jjm 11-08-2006 10:12 pm

Terence Dick is less enthusiastic here.

I think its time to scan & post some of those Cape Dorset drawing catalogues. (that means you Sal, I don't have a scanner)
- L.M. 11-09-2006 9:08 pm

Wow. Terence Dick doesn't mess around, does he? I may be more of a sissy than he is but I think two things: 1) Annie Pootoogook's drawings are pretty fascinating and 2) maybe they are "exotic" to a southern Canadian gal like me, but if it takes a little tourism to get some recognition (not to mention moola) to one of the highly talented and productive northern aboriginal artists of this country (besides, of course, our great tradition of snarfing up their artefacts and sticking them on plinths in museums) then maybe that's not such a bad thing. Time's are a' changing and nowadays everyone gets to play... yes?
- sally mckay 11-10-2006 6:46 am

Okay I guess I'm not quite done...I know that we are all finished and done with political correctness blah blah blah but I still think the high profile art world has a long way to go in digesting the fact that there's a wack of types of artist and a vast array of types of art agenda. So what if you are outside "the discourse"? Does that mean you have to be an "outsider"? Or worse, as TD suggests, a "fake outsider"? Or maybe you are just an artist. If the internet shows us anything its diversity playing out in a social/critical form. As I mentioned above, everybody gets to play. I'm not saying that I'm the biggest fan of Pootoogook, I like her work but it doesn't make me nuts with joy, however, she's got as much right to win the Sobey's Award as anybody else who was nominated and I frankly find her rise to stardom quite hopeful and refreshing.
- sally mckay 11-10-2006 7:26 am

Say more, Sally, come on, say more.
- L.M. 11-10-2006 7:31 am

Everybody? (sorry about the Yahoo videoad)
- tom moody 11-10-2006 8:07 am

Well, then I'll go on. Terence Dick isn't far off the mark on one thing, that award is not going to go to the same region every year. There is something in our character that's congenial to ideas about even distribution, however flawed the process or results may be.

Attributing "disenchantment" to his fave artist in the running just makes me giggle. Is Steven Shearer pounding his fist on the table and shouting "Up with this I will not put!". (I'd be delighted with him if he was, because I do the dance of the seven veils and demand heads on platters whenever I am turned down for grant)

(Tom, there'll be no Sobey awards for Illinois-based artists, no matter how much you love the guy's work)
- L.M. 11-10-2006 8:18 am

Annie Pootoogook should license that video game. It's looks like a kind of missile defender/space invader/mario mash-up. With red balloons.
I'd play it.
- rob (guest) 11-10-2006 6:41 pm

Myfanwy Ashmore should recreate it!
- sally mckay 11-10-2006 7:06 pm

- rob (guest) 11-10-2006 7:30 pm

"There is something in our character that's congenial to ideas about even distribution, however flawed the process or results may be."

I think this is a good thing. Art awards are already flawed - the idea that one artist is empirically and justifiably better than the others is antithetical to art practice.
- sally mckay 11-10-2006 7:42 pm

Some artists are better. Can't get away from that basic idea. I don't love all art creations or artists, hate most of them, actually.
- L.M. 11-10-2006 8:03 pm

Oh yeah for sure - Tom's link above being a case in point - and I will most likely have a preference out of 5 nominees. But that's not the same as one of the 5 actually being better than the other 4. Obviously, if Terence Dick and I were on that jury we'd have been arguing.
- sally mckay 11-10-2006 8:32 pm

"Personally I like that Tom Moody seriously suggests that Chuck Anderson should be eligible for the Sobey Award (like he needs the money)."

Irony alert!
- tom moody 11-14-2006 9:32 am

We are a dangerously earnest nation, Tom.
- L.M. 11-14-2006 11:13 am


Tom: Tee-hee!

As for Sally's question on my blog (what do I think of Ms. Pootoogook's work) I still haven't' had an opportunity to see any of it live (free beer at the MBAM will cloud anyone's better judgment). But, from the resulting publicity, I do like the idea very much that Inuit art is turning away from traditional forms, and approaching a more contemporary form.

My guess is that the content is extremely powerful, which would be a good thing, 'cuz her technique sure as shootin' ain't much. Right now, I'm most inclined to judge her work on how successful she is in getting her work out of this backwater and/or incestuous corner called Canada. The Documenta score to me is much more significant and important than the Sobey.

I will be getting back to see the Sobey show, and then will have a much more informed opinion on her work instead of just the attendant and nationalistic hype.

And then just between us, I really really wanted BGL to win.
- Zeke (guest) 11-14-2006 7:13 pm

Howdy Zeke. Actually it was MK who asked you that question, not me. But thanks anyhow for posting your thoughts.
- sally mckay 11-14-2006 7:53 pm

I can somehow see my "endorsement" of Chuck Anderson's digitally tricked up picture postcard haunting me the rest of my days--I will never, ever use sarcasm on the Internet again.
- tom moody 11-14-2006 8:18 pm

Just admit it, you loooooove him.
- sally mckay 11-14-2006 8:40 pm

i was impressed formally, with Pootoogooks work--i mean she is a third generation cape dorset worker, and so one cannot get over that heritage, but she doesnt try to.

The work, for many reasons, is intended to be about the north, she is deconstructing the souths realtionship to the north, to the idea of a kind of blank wilderness. It is not only that she draws tvs and porn and jerry springer and the like, it is something else.

The colours for one. The pastels, greys, bright greens, pinks, etc are so much against the idea of whiteness, but not in a fake Ted Harrison way; and the way that the figures work in clusters, in twos or three--reminding one of the collective north, but also the history of forced settlement. I am reminded of the large drawing she did of the frozen food section, up north, and the women buying groceries, and it reminds me of how political in Canada, the weather can be; and what it means to civilize the cold--how much of a fuck you that is to Atwood's Surrival or Valgardsen or Sinclair Ross...

There is a backlash against her, because people think she is cute, and i think aside from the documentary work above, and how important making the fantasia of otherness that infuses cape dorset real, is incredibly important, but i think also she is deeply honest. Her drawings of drug addiction and achocholism, and her combonotion of native and christian religious texts has a desperation and mournful rawness that doesnt seem like she is being cute, having those two sets of work together at the powerplant, talked more about what it meant to be inuit, then any of the white papers and isaac gallery shows and earnest reports in the globe and mail ever could.

i realise there will always be problems, telling tales out of school, exoticism, the politics of otherness, gender, race, desire--and the outsider/insider processing is a really sensitive spot right now, esp. with the explotation of the market, and the difficulty of funnelling all of that insular work as it explodes into the world stage will be a really difficult game to play, and im not sure shes playing it well--but those are slightly seperate questions than the work itself.

all of that said, i couldnt imagine a better artist winning the sobey--the problems of the market withstanding...

sorry i spent so much time and didnt spell check the post, and the post is so long, but i think its impt
- anonymous (guest) 11-17-2006 11:50 am

that was me! (waves)
- anthony (guest) 11-17-2006 11:50 am

thanks for the great review of Pootoogook's work, Anthony. Long post a-okay!
- sally mckay 11-17-2006 4:04 pm

Enjoy more from the extraordinary leaping brain of Anthony Easton, and the spell-check that never was, over at Tangerines in a Red Net Bag, my other favourite daily read.
- L.M. 11-17-2006 8:51 pm

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