Last year, in the fervour of celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary, the Montreal Museum of Fine arts threw a bright, and long overdue spotlight on Indigenous artists, and in particular women artists. The shows are wrapping up soon but there is still time to visit the Museum and immerse oneself in a world that is as familiar as it is different.

One of the exhibitions is an installation created by Atikamekw artists Eruoma Awashish and Meky Ottawa, and Innu artist Jani Bellefleur-Kaltush. It first took shape as a prototype developed in 2016 in the creative lab DÉRANGER, an NFB project in collaboration with Montreal's OBORO media artists' centre and Wapikoni, a non-profit organization based in Montreal, founded in 2004 by filmmaker ManonBarbeau and the Council of the Atikamekw Nation and the Youth Council First Nations of Quebec and Labrador.

For the MMFA presentation, the artists produced a complete version of the installation, "a glimpse into the other world" of sacred traditions and manifestations. Centring on the Innu and Atikamekw meaning behind the words kushapetshekan and kosapitcikan (kept secret by the First Nations peoples), harking at the concept of decolonization without really revealing their secret connotations, this is the artists' vision of what lies beyond the obvious. Helped by an emotive soundtrack, the installation offers the viewer a one-of-a-kind immersive, and deeply moving in its economy of means, experience.

Using a cylinder-shaped device to create a surface for the various projections, it sets the stage for a moment of contemplation and reflection. One can engage with the installation alone or with a group, on a personal level, or from a distance. I suggest experiencing the installation on one's own, as it is a truly intimate and profound presentation that will echo differently with each person. Without sacrificing the elements of their culture, the three artists have left the ultimate interpretation to the viewer.





Artist. Woman. Indigenous.


Kushapetshekan / Kosapitcikan – A glimpse into the other world


The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

1380 Sherbrooke St. W
Montreal, QC

Jean-NoëlDesmarais Pavilion – Level S2 externe)
Until February 4,2018