Mmenwenmad | To Save for Later is a new body of work by Raven Davis rooted in acknowledging the physical body, and lived experience as an incalculable, unwritten document. Davis’ monochromatic images capture the artist on the coastline of Mi’kma’ki, also known as the Atlantic coast. Through movement, sound, and the juxtaposition to land, body, Davis engages with a common archiving two-drawer filing cabinet that is incapable of archiving the continuum of one’s lived experience or intimate relationships with the land. Exploring transgenerational epigenetic matrilineal inheritance, Davis embodies a personal choreography that expresses the impacts of colonialism, trauma, disability, transness, diaspora, and relationship to the land. In doing so, Davis draws on their previous body of works with monuments, creating temporary tributes honouring the water, land, sky world. Questioning, what has been deemed “worthy” of saving, what has been lost, and what has been intentionally left out.
Photography: Scott Lee
Raven Davis is an Anishinaabe, 2-Spirit, transgender, disabled multidisciplinary artist, activist, and educator whose mother is from Treaty Four in Manitoba. Davis was born and raised in Michi Saagig Territory/Toronto, Ontario, and resides and works fluidly between Toronto and Kjipuktuk/Halifax. A parent of three sons, Davis works within the mediums of painting, performance, and media. Challenging systemic oppression, Davis fuses narratives of colonization, race, gender, disability, transformative justice, and 2-Spirit/Indigiqueer identity in their work. Davis’ performance and art practice bravely embodies their lived experience, reclaiming histories of Indigenous peoples’ restoring cultural knowledge, and honouring land, water and collective kinship futures.