We Weight on the Land (Winter), Eve Tagny, 2019
Eve Tagny is an artist based in Tiohtià:ke (Montréal, QC). Her video piece We Weight on the Land (Winter) is featured in this exhibit. This work gracefully observes the ways humans ritualize grief by creating small monuments that move with and against nature; to problematize how we sustain life, what structures allow for growth, and how we are entangled in the systems that surround us. The difficulty of winter is integral to We Weight on the Land (Winter), as this season serves as an allegory for grief and because it is the restful season—when flora and flora pause significant growth to prepare and recover for life to burst in spring. The performance happens in front of a window to show the tension between the human desire to domesticize and manipulate our environments and how that desire affects natural cycles (such as eating out of season fruit in the winter). Plastic bags can protect plants from the elements (frost); plastic bags are also used to cover bodies after someone has passed on.
What gestures constitute a ritual?
The physical connection of all beings depicted is communicated through air flow and the transference of energy from people to plants. The soil the lemon plant lives in is vital matter—soil is the essence that feeds the land (therefore feeds those who inhabit the land) and what we return to when we die. Overall, the work considers gestures of ritual enacted to materialize and process loss, grief, and engage in processes of renewal in conjunction with the rhythms and materials of the natural world. The objective of this to view our existence in a more sustainable way; the organic matter featured will decay gracefully into the earth whereas the plastic will take centuries to decompose.