Layered Histories: Perspectives on Colonization from the Chaco // Miriam Rudolph

Exhibition Dates: April 21 – May 26, 2023

Opening Reception: Friday, April 21, 2023 @ 5 – 8 pm

Artist talk: Saturday April 22, 2023 @ 1pm
ASL interpretation will be provided and live captions will be enabled. 
This talk is free to attend and open to the public.

Exhibition Text by Meganelizabeth Diamond

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Martha Street Studio is pleased to present Layered Histories: Perspectives on Colonization from the Chaco, a solo show by Miriam Rudolph (MB).


Layered Histories: Perspectives on Colonization from the Chaco is an artist’s book that explores the complexities of colonization of the Paraguayan Chaco region through delicately layered etchings and diverging narratives of experiences and history from the perspectives of the Enxet and Enlhet Indigenous people, Anglican missionaries and Mennonite settlers. This collection of prints and texts emerged from an invitation for an artist residency from the Santo Domingo Centre for Excellence in Latin American Research at the British Museum. Rudolph was invited to engage with and create an artistic response to the Paraguay collection that is housed in storage at the British Museum in London, a collection that consists of Indigenous artefacts collected by Anglican missionaries in the early 1900s. This project gave Rudolph the opportunity to research the early colonization history of the Lower Chaco from the Anglican perspective, and to further explore the colonial history of Rudolph’s own roots – the settlement of Mennonites in the Central Chaco beginning in 1927, which resulted in the displacement of the Enlhet Norte.

The prints and text excerpts trace the events of early contacts between European missionary explorers, settlers and Indigenous people through the changes in landscape and ways of living to today’s attempts at Indigenous assertion of their rights and tentative perspectives for the future. We often think of colonization as a process of history in the past. However, the impacts of colonization continue to pervade everything in our lives today: social structures and systems, our perception of land and property, the way we think about, interact with, and treat others on whose land we now live, whose artefacts we store, and whose experiences are not taught in schools. This artist’s book invites to question our biases, our perceptions, and our understanding of history, and challenges us to decolonize our thinking.


Artist Bio

Miriam Rudolph was born and raised in Paraguay. In 2003 she moved to Canada to study Fine Arts at the University of Manitoba where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours in 2007 and a Bachelor of Education in 2010. She completed a Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking at the University of Alberta in 2017. She has received numerous scholarships, awards, and grants. She has shown her work nationally and internationally in Canada, the USA, Paraguay, Europe and Asia. She is happily settled in Winnipeg with a home studio, a printing press, a big vegetable garden, her husband and little son.

Instagram: @miriamrudolphart

Exhibition documentation below by Sarah Fuller.

March 24, 2023