Indigenous Movie Monsters
By Jay Soule aka CHIPPEWAR
As the season changes and the nights get longer, look out for the Indigenous Movie Monsters! As part of a clever, whimsical series of ten posters, multimedia artist Jay Soule, aka CHIPPEWAR, indigenizes the classic horror movie poster. In a subversive nod to the overwrought and simplistic roles Indigenous peoples and cultures have played in the horror genre – one ancient Native American burial ground too many, in other words – Soule places Indigenous people and imagery at its front and centre.
This showcase presents four works in the Monsters series: Tribe of Dracula, Curse of the Cayuga, Bride of Frankensioux and The Invisible Warrior. His fictional stars – Honey Featherheart and Max Thunderbird – serve as the Christopher Lee and Vincent Price of an imaginary Golden Age of First Nations horror films that never was but could have been. Transcending their obvious humour, each work offers a genre-specific commentary on the representation of Indigenous peoples on the silver screen, particularly in the early decades of cinema. The Monsters themselves are visual reminders of Hollywood’s treatment of Indigenous bodies and cultures on screen; their images “remix” an era where Indigenous people were cast as cinematic “monsters” of a different sort: Western savages or barely-human primitives. The horror genre itself has emerged as a potent medium for contemporary Indigenous filmmakers to explore and comment on the horrors of colonial disruption to the Indigenous experience. While making this commentary subversively, Soule’s Indigenous Movie Monsters remind us never to be afraid.
The works on display – in addition to others in the Indigenous Movie Monsters series – are available for sale. Please contact the artist via his website.
Tribe of Dracula, 2016, 36” x 48”, Acrylic on Wood
The Invisible Warrior, 2016, 36” x 48”, Acrylic on Wood
Curse of the Cayuga, 2016, 36” x 48”, Acrylic on Wood
Bride of Frankensioux, 2016, 36” x 48”, Acrylic on Wood
Jay Soule, aka CHIPPEWAR, is a multimedia artist from the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation (Deshkaan Ziibing Anishinaaberg) located 20 minutes southwest of London, Ontario, on the north bank of the Thames River. Jay creates art under the name CHIPPEWAR, which represents the hostile relationship Indigenous people in Canada have with the Canadian government over the land they have inhabited since their creation. CHIPPEWAR also reminds us about the importance of the traditional warrior role, which exists in Indigenous cultures across North America, surviving even into present day. Additionally, Jay is a clothing designer with an extensive collection of t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, hats, stickers and prints that feature his artwork. He spends spring through fall on the powwow trail showcasing his art and apparel.