Leah Decter


performance (video forthcoming)
Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park, ON

A Companion piece to the 2015 performance video Founder, Fouling is a 100th anniversary de-celebration of the death of iconic Canadian landscape painter Tom Thomson. Thomson was last seen alive on July 8th, 1917 as he set off on a painting expedition in a fully loaded canoe on Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park. His canoe was spotted later that day, empty and capsized. Shot on Canoe Lake, where Thomson’s lifeless body was found 8 days later, this performative/video calls attention to the way early Canadian landscape painting helped shape a persistently dominant version of Canadian identity by working to transform Indigenous land into Canadian landscape, and by plying a connection between Canadian-ness and wilderness that naturalizes settler emplacement on, and entitlement to, Indigenous land. As an unsettling re-imagined de-enactment, Fouling also provides an alternate theory as to the ‘mystery’ of Thomson’s untimely death.


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