This important exhibition honors the peaceful return of 100 acres of sacred land at Cohoes Falls back to the Haudenosaunee, League of Iroquois by Brookfield Renewable Energy Company. The visiting artist series Re-Place Kohonios an exhibition by Merritt Johnson which surveys a landscape of place and displacement, and the importance of space and location in the process of identity formation. It is a narrative of land, diaspora and nativism—an epic of place and culture coming apart under the pressure of appropriation and dislocation from ancestral soil. The exhibition offers a rich platform to explore the art being made about dislocation as a critique of modern society.
The artist in Re-Place Kohonios has an interest in place and a strong interest in personal cosmologies, asserting a new identity and reclaiming an old identity. It is a peculiar form of ‘telling’ that emerges from the works on view, making visible aspects of society that were previously hidden.
Re-Place Kohonios recognizes that place is much more than the land. If we see place as not simply a neutral location for the imperial project, we can see how intimately place is involved in the development of identity, how deeply it is involved in history, and how deeply implicated it is in the systems of representation—language, writing and the creative arts—that develop in any society.