Medicine and Magic

With this dual-channel video installation, artist Thirza Cuthand pulls from her own familial history to connect two separate incidents which occurred over 100 years and 6,000 km apart. A story about the artist’s great-great-grandfather being doctored with bear medicine is juxtaposed with that of a Scottish woman who was executed for purportedly practising witchcraft. Correlations are drawn between the Christian colonial violence which sought to repress traditional Cree medicine and that which burned women at the stake. Cuthand’s approach with Medicine and Magic is more subtle in comparison to much of her previous work and can be seen as a departure in some ways. Most noticeably in the absence of the artist’s own voice and image which is often featured in the form of voice-over essay or direct address monologue. This shift in tone does not take away from Cuthand’s keen ability to effectively impart her thesis with clarity and emotional vulnerability. In fact, the breathing room afforded to the viewer in Medicine and Magic with its slower pace allows for the work to wash over before sinking in, contributing to an almost meditative quality that is a new direction for Cuthand. Medicine and Magic, presented by imagineNATIVE, with support from Ontario Arts Council, K.M. Hunter Foundation, and Vtape.
Artist: Thirza Cuthand
Curated by: Ariel Smith
Location: Bachir/Yerex Presentation Space, 401 Richmond St W, 401 Commons
Supported by:

                 K.M. Hunter Foundation

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