Terril Calder’s NFB installation MENEATH: THE MIRRORS OF ETHICS wins New Voices Award
Presented at Tribeca Immersive until June 18, this stop-motion installation unearths hidden Indigenous values and illuminates the bias of our colonial systems
Renowned Métis filmmaker and media artist Terril Calder’s National Film Board of Canada (NFB) stop-motion installation Meneath: The Mirrors of Ethics has received the New Voices Award during its world premiere at the prestigious Tribeca Festival, given to a first- or second-time XR creator who brings new perspectives and artistic languages to immersive storytelling.
Meneath: The Mirrors of Ethics was presented at Tribeca Immersive at Spring Studios, 5th Floor, until June 18.
Meneath: The Mirrors of Ethics charts the challenging journey of a precocious Métis Baby Girl as she contemplates her path to Hell. Using interfering screens in an object reminiscent of a puppet theatre, this stop-motion installation unearths Nokomis, the Wise Grandmother whispering the Sacred Teachings to Baby Girl, in parallel to Jesus shepherding her through seven Deadly Sins.
The installation is based on Calder’s 2021 NFB stop-motion animated short Meneath: The Hidden Island of Ethics, chosen as one of the top ten short films of the year by the Toronto International Film Festival and winner of nine awards.
About the experience
In the middle of Turtle Island, a Métis Baby Girl is born. Her childhood wonder is disrupted when Jesus appears and tells her about the so-called sins of humanity. Convinced she is soiled and destined for Hell, the abuse and racism she endures leave her riddled with self-loathing and fear. To quell her trauma, Nokomis brings light to the Anishinaabe Teachings buried deep within Baby Girl. For every alleged Sin, Baby Girl is given a Teaching that fills her with strength and pride, and affirms a path towards healing.
Through a system of interfering screens, Terril Calder forces our gaze below the surface to witness a dissection of the colonial narrative, physically shifting the dominant Christian perspective. The installation offers an augmented reality-type looking glass into the Indigenous ethical voice that often remains hidden. Indigenous Teachings are reflected from the earth and fused into the story to create a unique viewing experience that’s dependent on where you stand in relation to the interfering screens.
Meneath: The Mirrors of Ethics features the voice of Gail Maurice (Cardinal, Tricksters) and was edited by the late visionary Indigenous filmmaker Jeff Barnaby (Rhymes for Young Ghouls, Blood Quantum).
Meneath: The Mirrors of Ethics was produced by Jelena Popović with Eloi Champagne as technical director, and Jason Ryle as consulting producer. The executive producers are Robert McLaughlin and Michael Fukushima for the NFB English Program Animation & Interactive Studio.
About Terril Calder
Terril Calder is one of the foremost Métis artists in Canada today. She is a multidisciplinary creator and an influential force in the realm of independent animation, producing work that is raw, unstable and haunting. While her current practice is focused on stop-motion projects, which she writes, directs, crafts and animates, Calder also has an extensive background in performance, visual and media art.
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