monumentalisms

Scott Benesiinaabandan

August 4, 2020 to September 15, 2020

Presented on the FCG website here.

"All cities are geological. You can’t take three steps without encountering ghosts bearing all the prestige of their legends. We move within a closed landscape whose landmarks constantly draw us toward the past. Certain shifting angles, certain receding perspectives, allow us to glimpse original conceptions of space, but this vision remains fragmentary.”

— "Formulary for a New Urbanism", Ivan Chtchglov-1953

History as a matter of truth is a tricky thing. In reality, it is a narrative shaped by stories of people, places and events that are collectively, if only implicitly, agreed upon. We, as nations and cultures, come to identify ourselves from a collective of stories that are deemed important and we find not only unity through this complicity but also the creation of a “public collective memory”. The problem lies in the stories left out, marginalized, submerged, and erased from this powerful social act of collective remembrance. The Canadian national meta-narrative does not often nor willingly include the Indigenous story.

The public monuments in cities and along roadways celebrate and promote the stories that Canada has told about itself, which are not reflective of the complete truth. Where and why are the stories told this way; who gets to decide what gets put into the public narrative; and more importantly, whose stories get left out? Outside of the political and social factors that determine these monuments and stories, what are the invisible and subtle forces at work that drive monumentalism/counter-monumentalism? This work was created with these ideas and concerns in mind during a summer residency in and across Montreal.

Text by Scott Benesiinaabandan.


monumentalisms (2016)

Single-channel video

9minutes 12 seconds


Scott Benesiinaabandan is an Anishinabe intermedia artist that works primarily in photography, printmaking and video. Scott has recently completed international residencies at Parramatta Artist Studios in Australia (2012), Context Gallery in Derry, North of Ireland (2010) and is most recently been awarded the University Lethbridge/Royal Institute of Technology iAIR residency 2013,  along with international collaborative projects in both the U.K and Ireland. He is currently in Montreal and recently completed a Canada Council New Media Production grant through OBx Labs/Ab-tech and Concordia.


In the past four years, Benesiinaabandan has been awarded multiple grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Manitoba Arts Council and the Winnipeg Arts Council.


Benesiinaabandan has taken part in several group exhibitions across Canada and the United States, most notably in  Harbourfront’s Flatter the Land/Bigger the Ruckus (2006), Subconscious City at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (2008) and with more recent solo exhibitions, unSacred, at Gallery 1C03 ( 2011) and in Sydney, Mii Omaa Ayaad/Oshiki Inendemowin (2012).In September 2013 Benesiinaabandan will take part in Ryerson Image Centre’s Ghost Dance exhibition.