Alan Michelson: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum

December 3, 2021 - May 23, 2021

Alan Michelson. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (Theatre of the World), 2019. Four-channel video installation (colour, sound, 11 min. 36 sec.) and four fiberglass globes. Purchase, with funds by exchange from a gift from the J.S. McLean Collection, donated by the Ontario Heritage Foundation, 2020. © Alan Michelson 2020/19


Named after the first modern European  world  atlas,  Theatrum  Orbis  Terrarum  (Theatre  of  the  World)  consists  of  four  videos  projected  sequentially  onto  four  white  globes.  Activating archival material from maps, illustrations, paintings, photographs, videos, and audio, Mohawk artist Alan Michelson examines and challenges colonial narratives of discovery and conquest from a Haudenosaunee perspective. Incorporating music as well as the words of Mohawk activists Richard Oakes, leader of the 1969 occupation of Alcatraz, and Ellen Gabriel, spokesperson during the 1990 Kanien’kehá:ka  Resistance (“Oka  Crisis”), Theatrum is a powerful display of 500 years of Indigenous resistance.

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About the Artist

Alan Michelson
Alan Michelson
Alan Michelson is an internationally recognized New York-based artist, curator, writer, lecturer and Mohawk member of the Six Nations of the Grand River. For over thirty years, he has been a leading practitioner of a socially engaged, critically aware, site-specific art grounded in local context and informed by the retrieval of repressed histories. Recent exhibitions include... Read more