Tiananmen to Oka

 

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Photographic projections and prints of two sites of contested space: Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, and the Oka Golf Course in Quebec, Canada. 1991/2007.

One set of prints is of paving stones taken months after the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989 in Beijing – cracked, damaged, with military and parade markings, some the result of the military assault on students and protesters, some weathered over time. The other set of photographs are of the golf greens, fairway turf, divots, flags and holes at the private Club de Golf d’Oka in Québec. In 1990, the club’s development plans on contested lands triggered the Oka Crisis resulting in a 77-day standoff between the Canadian army and native militants from the neighbouring Mohawk communities of Kanesatake and Kanewake.

Two parallax projections zoom towards the steps and social realist bas-reliefs of the Memorial to the Peoples’ Heroes, damaged by tanks and gunfire during the Massacre. A video monitor displays golf course greens dissolving into sandtraps in reference to the attempted (and eventually thwarted) expansion of the Oka Golf Club into traditional Mohawk land and burial grounds in Kanesatake.

 

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