Tansy Point

Tansy Point, 2019

Double projection, DCI 4k video, 5 min.

Tansy Point is the site on the south shore near the mouth of the Columbia River where the Anson Dart Treaties were signed between the Chinook peoples and the US government in 1851. These were never ratified by Congress even though the land and rights of the Chinook were subsequently taken away.

Two texts in English scroll across the screen; one written by early settler James Swan, who witnessed other failed attempts at treaty making by the whites, and the current Chair of the Chinook Nation, Tony Johnson, who writes about the legacy of the signed agreements. The audio soundtrack in Tony Johnson’s voice is a translation of the texts in Chinook Jargon, the trade language of the west coast that would have been used in the negotiations. The projected text is exposed and made legible when the audience blocks one of the two projections with their body. The Chinook are still fighting for recognition.


Henry Tsang’s talk at Portland Art Museum


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