Ken Lum

Canadian, b. 1956

Mounties & Indians, 1989

colour print, pressed paper vinyl film letters on Plexiglas

204 x 124.5 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from The Winnipeg Art Gallery Foundation Inc.

G-89-1502

Categories:

Painting, Canadian Contemporary (1980-present)

This piece is from a series of works the artist categorizes as “portrait logos,” which incorporate portraits of everyday people with accompanying text to parody advertizing billboards. Mounties & Indians pokes fun at Canada’s post-colonial legacy and the construction of national iconography. This image was directly inspired by a tourist postcard Lum had seen of two Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers flanking five Aboriginal elders wearing traditional dress, with a stagecoach caravan as the backdrop. The artist felt that this constructed image presented a false concept of how Aboriginal people currently live. To counter the misrepresentation, Lum asked four Aboriginal people wearing their regular clothes, along with two RCMP officers in their full uniform, to pose against an urban street setting.

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