Stones have existed for millenia; the stones that have seen rivers being born and ancestors walk are still here. With Senimikwaldamw8gan - Mémoire de pierre, Mélanie O’Bomsawin pays homage to her grandfathers by exploring the notion of memory. The memory of those Before and the memory of those After, along with the memory of today. By positioning new technologies as tools for the preservation and transmission of her story, O’Bomsawin faces a dilemma regarding their reliability. Her land, the land of her grandfathers and their grandfathers before them, the land of her children and their grandchildren, is fragmented. Nevertheless, the artist carries the memories that created their land and allows the voices that were silenced by History echo.
Senimikwaldamw8gan is a series of installations and projections that explore our relationship to the transmission of memory in a digital era. With objects collected in places important to the lives of her grandfathers, recordings of lands and bodies of water along with audio recordings of their voices, O’Bomsawin redesigns the gallery as a large circle we can traverse where stones, as for W8banakiak and many other Nations, are considered to be grandfathers, holding their memories and experiences.