Culture Clash

Annie Pootoogook captures Canada’s north-south divide

By David Balzer
June 27, 2006
Playing Nintendo. Courtesy Power Plant/Fehely Fine Arts.

Playing Nintendo

Pootoogook’s drawings of domestic interiors do not aim for naturalism. Says Campbell, “A lot of the works are composites, and are made from memory. Annie combines diverse images, objects and events from her everyday life and puts them together. These are not specific scenes; she’s not copying a room.”

Many objects recur throughout Pootoogook’s interiors: clocks and keys are common, as are lights, switches and plugs (which appear in Pitseolak Drawing with Two Girls on the Bed). Playing Nintendo is notable for these things, as well as for its portrayal of the titular act, one so apparently engrossing that the viewer is only privy to the child’s back. The drawing also contains a number of southern objects aside from the television (like the Nike hat). In fact, all three figures interact with a product, the child on the right and the father on the left enjoying (or about to enjoy) Pepsi and some junk food.
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