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Photographic memory : Inuit representation in the work of Peter Pitseolak

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Photographic memory : Inuit representation in the work of Peter Pitseolak

Wise, Jonathan (2000) Photographic memory : Inuit representation in the work of Peter Pitseolak. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the photographs of Inuit historian, camp leader and pioneer artist Peter Pitseolak (1902-1973) whose work in and around the community of Cape Dorset on the southwest coast of Baffin Island dates from the early 1940's until his death. Pitseolak's work coincided with a period of great turmoil and cultural upheaval for the Inuit. He spent much of his life documenting elements of traditional culture--through drawings, paintings, sound recordings, and a significant collection of photographs. This thesis examines Pitseolak's work within a number of critical frameworks, contextualizing it within the development of Western formations of representing the Inuit, from first impressions in painting and drawing, to early conventions established in Arctic photography. Through a contemporary theoretical lens, I discuss ways in which Pitseolak's images may be read through these earlier paradigms, as cultural codes implicating the Inuit as Other . In this way, Pitseolak's photographs become complex configurations of self-identity, confronting models of representation as they disrupt a relationship between observer and subject. During his lifetime, Peter Pitseolak recognized the predicament of Inuit culture against the encroachments of Western influence, yet he transcended Eskimo stereotypes and strove to retain the important events of his own life and of those around him.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Art History
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Wise, Jonathan
Pagination:vii, 69, [30] leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Art History
Date:2000
Thesis Supervisor(s):Acland, Joan Reid
ID Code:1237
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:17
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:19
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