Joi Arcand’s Cree language installations in the form of business signage are not new (you can read more about an earlier one here), but her current work, showcased in the “Insurgence/Resurgence” installation currently on display at the at the Winnipeg Art Gallery comes with a great line:
‘The language wasn’t lost — it was taken. And we’re here to take it back.’
While I’m enjoying the coverage, I’m intrigued that there is no indication at all (in the written version of the story) of what the syllabics actually say. As Joi explains in the video, she hopes to challenge people to learn a bit for themselves.
In SRO transliteration, her neon sign reads ninohtê nêhiyawan: “I want to speak Cree”. I’m looking forward to struggling to decode all of the text on the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s enormous Tyndall stone staircase.