Sugulegag (Su-gu-le-gahk) “Rotten” 2019

Sugulegag (Su-gu-le-gahk) “Rotten” 2019

10 x 72 x 6 in. (Size varies depending on installation and space)

Refined sugar, tongue compressors

Sugulegag transforms body-cast tongues into edible sugar popsicles, an offering to the audience. The work cheekily asks the viewer to integrate the violence inherent in losing or forcing the removal of language to Indigenous populations. It is a compelling exploration of complex themes related to language, representation, and the consumption of indigenous Peoples.

Utilizing the body, this work is a potent commentary on the importance of the mother tongue, down dynamics within the dominant cultures of North America, cultural appropriation, shedding light on the commodification of Indigenous Peoples, both physical and theoretical. The symbolism of the tongue, a powerful instrument of communication, becomes a focal point, prompting reflection on the silencing and misrepresentation of Indigenous voices.

The transformation of tongues into edible forms introduces a culinary metaphor, blurring the boundaries between art, culture, and consumption, metaphorically mirroring how Indigenous cultures are often consumed and appropriated by mainstream society. The concept may serve as a means of empowerment and agency, allowing Indigenous women to reclaim control over their representation.