Forgotten Language is a collection of works by Amanda Amour-Lynx which are performative acts of cultural reclamation. It documents the pursuit for radical self-acceptance, evident by the messy, untangling process that ensues when recovering lost histories. Stories are embedded linguistically through mnemonic and symbolic coding, abstraction, body movements and stored memories. Language is place. Place is being.
These studies are stories of returning to a knowledge that was taken away, and are reactions to how colonialism has affected the artist personally and intergenerationally (focusing on matters concerning the relationship to time and place; the difficulty of familial roots; complex blood memory; being of mixed heritage; lateral violence; and internalized racism). Forgotten Language is Amanda’s intent to heal ancestral wounds through acts of restoring cultural literacy in herself, existing on various planes of being, undoing and reclaiming.
Mono no aware (物の哀れ), literally "the pathos of things", and also translated as "an empathy toward things", or "a sensitivity to ephemera", is a Japanese term for the awareness of impermanence (無常 mujō), or transience of things, and both a transient gentle sadness (or wistfulness) at their passing as well as a longer, deeper gentle sadness about this state being the reality of life.
Sakura blossoms flower ephemerally in Spring, usually in late April and early May, creating a haze of mystical pale pink flowers. Sakuras bloom abruptly, and only for about a week. People participate in Sakura Hanami, which is Japanese for "cherry blossom viewing party".
In Toronto, Ontario, people also acknowledge this time by visiting the orchards planted here.
I have submerged sakura flowers in acrylic polymer medium. I confront personal memories in which I cannot speak in words through the ritual of capturing the blooms and submerging them. As the paint seals the flowers and dries, I observe the beautiful rosy hues turn brown and dull. They aren't quite like they were before.
Returning to a trauma site feels like chemical rigormortis.
Mono no aware maybe the memory can be fleeting and shall come to pass.
Wkamulamun is the Mi'kmaq word for "heart of the tree", returning to the heartbeat of mother earth through the root.