Forces of Allusion
Post modernism is the inevitable outcome of the fragmentation of the non-transformative fixity of European languages. The prevailing nihilistic, empty set semiotics of post-modern theory is now imposed on tribal cultures as the current form of cultural re-colonization. In Cree language, Nehiyawewin, metaphor and metonymy are not simply pointers to similarity. They describe the threshold of transformation and shifting states of being. They are artifacts of the awareness of the describer, indicating the knowledge of the potential in the comparisons and the actuality present in the description.
Nehiyawewin represents the world in nouns and verb phrases that are animate and inanimate. The animate classification is present in the language among representations of both human and non-human beings, animal and non-animal beings, and biological and non-biological beings. The concepts of time and space are also significantly different from European languages in the sense that they are also potentially animate and personalized rather than quantified and and subjected to repetitious measurement. The codification system present in Nehiyawewin therefore also implicates any other form of Cree cultural and artistic representation beyond language acts themselves.
- Ahasiw Maskegon-Iskwew (1958-2006) was a theorist, curator, writer, new media practitioner and performance artist. He worked in artist run centres in Vancouver, Regina and Winnipeg (all Canada) curating and producing new practices in performance and new media. [source: http://ghostkeeper.gruntarchives.org]
Full text p.185-187