A tongue was brought back to the post

The Tongues Were Never Brought Back to the Post is a sculptural installation that is at once a storm and a graveyard. Thirty, four-foot high, vertical cedar posts stand like sentinels. But, because of the rhythm and arrangement, they seem to pour into the room. Each post is mounted with a thick and drooping light grey form made of plaster and hydrocal. They are casts of very large tongues. That they all face the same way reinforces the sense of flow to these otherwise static objects. The tongues are from bison and the posts are at the right height to suggest a stampeding herd. But, this sense of active life is arrested. Like ghosts, the parts stand for the whole animals, but they are also just parts, tongues wrenched from their owner’s mouths and attached to stakes. It is not hard to see this as both an essay on the loss of wild Buffalo and as a metaphor for the silencing of Aboriginal people.