montreal

Nadia Myre, Pipe, 2017, ink-jet print, 48 x 72".

Nadia Myre

Montréal Museum of Fine Arts

Nadia Myre, Pipe, 2017, ink-jet print, 48 x 72".

Entering a dark gallery, one encounters a handful of objects, or— as the French title of Nadia Myre’s show, “Tout ce qui reste,” suggests—“all that remains.” They are not so much scattered as deliberately placed, as if to evoke a sacred ritual. All are deeply symbolic: Whether offerings for trade or shrines to remember, each has undergone a meticulous process of handicraft that sanctifies or effaces it.

The atmosphere is one of quiet contemplation, but the histories of the indigenous peoples that these objects reference are violent. An oversize woven basket—large enough to contain a body or two—is filled with fragrant loose tobacco. Three strings of beads that look as if they have been carved from bone hang limply on the wall, longing for a neck. If bodies once made use of these items, they are nowhere to be found. Their histories have been erased, their lands

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