Hukki, 2017

Acrylic on canvas

Diameter: 8’

Quadrilles, the ancestors of the modern square dance, were popular in England from the 1810s onward eventually making their way to North America. These early dances were often adapted onboard ships by crew members during long voyages. Today, square dancing, known as “hukki”, is a popular form of entertainment within Inuit communities. The graphics of this dance platform are borrowed from Thomas Wilson’s quadrille panorama, published in 1819. Wilson’s panorama is comprised of multiple dances in which several participants ‘thread the mazes of the dance.’ by removing the text, this diagram emulates early cosmology maps used for navigation and celestial drawings used to determine the passing of time.

Intended to be danced on, the surface of the stage will bear marks of its use, becoming its own archive of traces. For the opening, I held a square dance with local dance callers. Participants were invited to dance on the Hukki stage.