Various archival material

Various archival material from the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institutions


Kimowan Metchewais (1963–2011), a Cree visual artist of the Cold Lake First Nations reserve in Alberta, Canada, challenged the clichés projected onto Indigenous art. The selection of Polaroids from his eclectic personal archive, spanning from the end of the 1990s to his passing in 2011, is reflective of Indigenous modes of self- authorship and placemaking. Whether as reference material for his paintings, elements of his collages or transfers for his large-scale works on paper, the Polaroids reveal his attraction to the medium’s granularity and textural manipulability. Cutting, etching, taping and inscribing the original image, he experimented with self-portraiture, landscape and a signed language of his own invention.