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Untitled IV from A Sacred Game: Escape is Perpetual

Joseph Tisiga, 2014


  • Mixed Media


Joseph Tisiga


Paper collage, oil on canvas


Mixed media


190.5 x 190.5 cm

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A member of the Kaska Dene Nation, Joseph Tisiga weaves together cultural iconographies and socio-political reference to critically examine the histories that have informed his Indigenous contemporaneity. Offering a multivocal lens, Tisiga’s collage works predominantly take shape as typologies, indexing cultural artifacts clipped from vintage reference books and encyclopedias set against a painted ground. In Untitled IV, museological images of ethnographic masks and classical Greco-Roman busts are placed in a honeycomb-like structure, each cocooned in individually carved out spaces. Forming a vessel evoking an urn, the curious platform is wrapped on either side by a heavy, fur pelt, painted to frame the well-ordered arrangement. Prompted to channel how Red Chief, an archetypal character from Tisiga’s 2009 project, Indian Brand Corporation (IBC), would organize the same information, Untitled IV binds a polarized array of artifacts into one narrative field, subverting the colonial and ethnographic prevalence of the artist’s excavated images.