Red Exit


RED EXIT is a large-scale work on paper, and a long-awaited companion piece to Andrea Carlson’s 2014 Ink Babel. A grid of 60 sheets of paper, RED EXIT centers on a common loon that appears to dive into infinity, sending imagery rippling outward toward the margins. Carlson is Ojibwe, and the loon is one of the Earth Divers of the Ojibwe flood story in which the world is made new. Surrounding the loon is a kaleidoscope of interwoven, repeating images. A canoe is made from the birch bark pages of the Potawatomi Chief Pokagon’s Red Man’s Rebuke. The earth effigy “Man Mound” (located in Baraboo, Wisconsin) gets up and walks away. Mica hands and talons of the Mississippian people appear, as well as turtle shells, bats, faces, ribbon work, cedar boughs, and petroglyphs speaking in imagery from an 1849 drawing by Chief Buffalo protesting the violation of the 1842 Treaty of La Pointe. These images create a 10-by-15 foot wave meant to engulf the viewer. Carlson states that RED EXIT “celebrates the place we (Native People) reserve for ourselves.”