Disrupted translations: Legibility and identity in the works of Nadia Myre | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 11, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1740-8296
  • E-ISSN: 2040-0918



This article examines two series of work by contemporary Algonquin French Canadian artist Nadia Myre, Indian Act (2000–2002) and Journey of the Seventh Fire (2008–2009). These two bodies of work, which combine typed document or corporate logo with traditional techniques of beadwork, address issues of identity, history and historiography in modern Aboriginal culture and life. By defining these works as objects mired in the problems of translation, I argue that they operate as strategies of negotiation between languages, writing systems, and legal structures through which asymmetrical power relationships are defined. Appropriating the tools of settler government and capitalist authority, Myre reinscribes these objects into handbeaded colour fields, redefining that authority in relationship to the peoples, histories, and territories they displace and seek to control. Her works assert the shifting, relational quality of identity formation through melded yet contradictory techniques and require new modes of reading the resultant blended texts.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): Aboriginal art; beadwork; Indian Act; land claims; translation; wampum
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