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6 Kilometres and 8000 Years Long

6 Kilometres and 8000 Years Long

Susan Blight

Susan Blight is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice encompasses public art, photography, film, and social practice. As a co-founder of the Ogimaa Mikana collective, she makes interventions into the signage and structures of the Toronto-area urban landscape, using Anishinaabemowin to invoke the original (and still present) routes that define Anishinaabeg territory. Blight’s project for TPZ is titled 6 Kilometers and 8000 Years Long in reference to the length and historical depth of the now-buried Taddle Creek, which runs under much of Toronto including the grounds of Hart House where the work is installed. The refrain “Kaawiiin aabiji-niboonendaa misin ziibi” (“We haven’t forgotten the river entirely”) is repeated across the surface of the hoarding with stickers that would commonly be found, guerrilla-style, on walls, hydro posts, or post boxes in the city. The work, as Blight describes it, “is really about thinking through locality and hope, and histories that have been erased and histories that have yet to happen, and the promises of the future, and ambivalence about promises.” Her project offers us the opportunity to question how we came to be on the land that we are standing on, and what other presences might be here with us still—both human and non-human.

About the Artist
Susan Blight (Anishinaabe, Couchiching First Nation) is an interdisciplinary artist working with public art, site-specific intervention, photography, film, and social practice. Susan is co-founder of Ogimaa Mikana, an artist collective working to reclaim and rename the roads and landmarks of Anishinaabeg territory through the revitalization of Anishinaabemowin. She is also a member of the Indigenous Routes artist collective which works to provide free new media training for Indigenous youth.

6 Kilometres and 8000 Years Long is part of Tree Protection Zone, a transformative Indigenous-led public art exhibition at Hart House Circle. See works by other Tree Protection Zone artists: Shuvinai Ashoona, Carrie Hill, Christi Belcourt (Onaman Collective), Isaac Murdoch (Onaman Collective), Taqralik Partridge in collaboration with Nils Ailo Utsi, and Que Rock/Manitou Nemeen (Quentin Commanda).