Image courtesy of the artist
More than visual manifestations for contemplation, Denis Taman Bradette's art proposes paths to follow, messages to decipher, stories about the future. His creative manifestations are infused with queer ecology, autobiography, geopolitics, and environmental awareness. Moving between autobiography, fiction and speculation, his narratives are both familiar and disconcerting.
For Denis, art is more than a therapeutic practice, it is a means of imagining a post-anthropocene utopia and a new social organisation centred on ecological preservation. Art is a means of visualizing a world of possibility and hope. His assemblages, collages and drawings are detailed plans for an applied utopia that include the construction of shelters in case of climatic disasters and the deconstruction of the values and symbols of industrial consumer society.
Denis Taman Bradette is a Northern Ontario artist who grew up between the English, French and Cree cultures of his region. His awakening to art began in his youth in high school when the practice of art provided him with an escape from the oppression he was experiencing. Indeed, art and communion with nature provided him with comfort as he navigated the conflicts related to his queer identity in his socio-cultural environment. Escaping into writing and visual art, he could imagine a better world. Because of his interest in ecology and biology, he pursued undergraduate studies in environmental studies, supplementing his degree with courses in French language and indigenous history and other social, literary and scientific disciplines. The themes he explores are influenced by these interests and a strong sense of belonging to nature adhering to the principles of Queer Ecology which rejects, among other things, anthropocentrism, the culture/nature duality and the binary conception of gender.
Inspired by Arcosanti, an urban and architectural design laboratory, and speculative fiction such as Ursula K. Le Guin's "Always coming home", he created an experimental project called Otenaw Arcology* with a group of artists to explore the possibilities of creating a self-sustaining space that would become a kind of refuge in the event of ecological and social collapse caused by climate disruption.
*Otenaw means town or village in Cree and Arcology is a contraction of architecture and ecology.