Untitled ṮEṮÁĆES exhibition text

Artists’ Statement

The Untitled ṮEṮÁĆES map was created by TEMOSEṈ (Charles “Chazz” Elliott), Jesse Campbell, and Kim Shortreed, with contributions from Matthew Parlby-Elliot, Ben Olson, and others.

The map’s name combines the English word “Untitled” with the SENĆOŦEN word “ṮEṮÁĆES,” meaning island. The Untitled part of the name plays on the term “unceded.” With its uppercase first letter, it is a proper name that is also something unnamed. Untitled also evokes terms like land “title” and the “un” in undoing and unlearning.

This “un-map” does not have traditional Western map conventions like cardinal directions or state borders. Instead, it presents something on the imagined territory between cartography and art—an “artographic” space intended to encourage a sensation of finding location through interaction.

The Untitled ṮEṮÁĆES map places SENĆOŦEN and English place names, or toponyms, in symbolic conversation to encourage new dialogues in other contexts, and to celebrate continued W̱SÁNEĆ Peoples’ presence in our shared landscapes.

The outer wall’s carving is inspired by Salish goat horn bracelets, which were intricately carved with traditional designs by Coast Salish Peoples. Like a bracelet’s embrace, the Untitled ṮEṮÁĆES map embraces you in a wraparound Salish Sea horizon. 

Map Guide

Imagine yourself standing on a shoreline looking out to the islands’ silhouettes, or from on top of ȽÁU,WELṈEW, the highest point on the W̱SÁNEĆ/Saanich Peninsula and sacred to W̱SÁNEĆ Peoples. Do they look familiar to you?

Each ṮEṮÁĆES, or island in SENĆOŦEN (a language spoken by W̱SÁNEĆ Peoples), is intended to be moved so that you can hear both its SENĆOŦEN and English name. The islands’ shapes are traced from the actual islands in the Salish Sea. You can rearrange them on the horizon however you like: there is no right or wrong way to arrange them.

The Untitled ṮEṮÁĆES map is intended to be experienced in a number of ways. You can move around the outside of the map to experience the carving or go inside the map space for a representation of the W̱SÁNEĆ/Saanich Peninsula seascape.

Feel yourself building a familiarity of place. Arrange the islands from memory and listen for their names, then try to say them. These islands are part of the living landscapes in W̱SÁNEĆ Territory and the Salish Sea.

If you have no memories of these islands, or would like a refresher of their locations, then follow the link to be taken to a Google Maps tour of the islands in the Untitled ṮEṮÁĆES map. In this tour, you can see how the islands’ names are written in SENĆOŦEN and English and learn a little more about them.