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Item Name: Photograph
Title: REDress I
Maker: Jaime Black
Year: 2021
Materials: archival ink on hahnemuhle photo rag 308
Measurements: 15x20"
ID Number: PC2021.11.2

Extended Label Info: A red dress hangs in a tree, floating in the breeze. Vividly present, the dress is also empty. It invites us to ask questions: where is the person who owns this dress, what has happened? The red dress has come to be known for representing one of the over 4000 Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people in Canada missing or murdered in the past two decades. These photographs are part of the ongoing work by Métis artist Jaime Black to bring awareness to these tragedies. Since 2010, “The REDress Project” organized by Black, collected and hung over 600 red dresses from community members in cities and other spaces across North America. Each installation gives families who have lost mothers, daughters, aunties, and friends the space to open discussions with their community on violence, colonialism, racism and misogyny. These two photographs were taken in Treaty 1 Territory, at a place where Black has visited often and feels a connection with the land and water. The words in the title, “REDress” reference both the dresses used in the installation, and the idea of “redress” which is to make right what is wrong, to seek reparation for injustice. Red is a powerful colour. As Black explains, “…in Indigenous communities, Red is the colour of life and blood. It’s what connects all of us to each other. It’s a very sacred colour, and it also represents the violence that these women are facing.” The REDress Project is on-going, and on permanent display at The Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Jaime Black is a multidisciplinary artist of mixed Anishinaabe and Finnish descent. She uses new media, installation and multi-media performances to open dialogues on issues of social, political and environmental urgency. Her artwork is grounded in an understanding of the body and the land as sources of cultural and spiritual knowledge. Black grew up in Thunder Bay on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, and the Robinson-Superior Treaty, and at age 12 moved to Winnipeg, which is Treaty 1 Territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinabe (Ojibway), Ininew (Cree), Oji-Cree, Dene, and Dakota, and is the Birthplace of the Métis Nation and the Heart of the Métis Nation Homeland. She earned her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Manitoba (2004) in Literature and Native Studies, and her Bachelor of Education, at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto (2008).