L E   F I F A
L E   F I F A
Stitching My Landscape

Stitching My Landscape

Maureen Gruben

Canada | 2017 | 6 min
This film is part of Aseman Sabets Carte Blanche co-presented with MUTEK.

Stitching My Landscapes core visual elements — red material stretched across ice — are embedded in a recollection artist Maureen Gruben has of her brother harvesting a seal: while processing the animal, he pulled a long, vivid, red string of fresh gut out taught against the white snow. Consisting of 111 ice holes connected with red broadcloth, Stitching My Landscape extends for nearly a thousand feet. It was installed April 23rd, 2017, on an expanse of the frozen ocean surrounding Ibyuq Pingo, outside Gruben’s home in the hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk. In this film, which is simultaneously documentation and artwork, aerial views reveal the sheer scale of the installation. They also reveal stunning marks in the snow: footprints, and sled and skidoo tracks. These are the usually invisible traces left by the artist’s process, by everyone who was involved in supporting the process, and by those who visited the piece after it was created. The background audio is the sound of a traditional chisel that had belonged to Gruben’s father, working the ice; it has been slowed down such that each moment of contact becomes reminiscent of a heartbeat.
Curating Tania Willard
Director Maureen Gruben
In collaboration with Kyra Kordoski
Editing Trevor Dixon-Bennet
Camera Jay Blukaert, Pablo Saravenja, Kyra Kordoski
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Production

Maureen Gruben

Maureen Gruben

Inuvialuk artist Maureen Gruben employs an intimate materiality as she disassembles and recombines disparate organic and industrial elements. Polar bear fur, beluga intestines, and seal skins encounter resins, metallic tape, and bubble wrap, forging critical links between life in the Western Arctic and global environmental and cultural concerns. Gruben was born and raised in Tuktoyaktuk where her parents were traditional knowledge keepers and founders of E. Gruben’s Transport. She holds a BFA from the University of Victoria and exhibits regularly across Canada and internationally. She was longlisted for the 2019 Aesthetica Art Prize and the 2021 Sobey Art Prize, and her work is held in national and private collections.

Biographical notes provided by the film production team

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