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Progress or displacement? Boundary or access? Politics or unity? Over one year, the Anchorage Museum joins with artists, individuals and communities to consider how the ways we map our land shapes how we see ourselves, each other and the world through a major contemporary art exhibition titled Counter Cartographies: Living the Land, on view Oct. 8, 2021, through Sept. 5, 2022.

Presenting contemporary artworks that examine our relationship to land, Counter Cartographies proposes alternative ways of thinking about and experiencing the landscape around us. Participating artists illuminate the way culture, identity, emotion, ancestry, displacement, power and colonization shape and inform our understanding of land.

Counter Cartographies expands conventional understandings of cartography (mapping), moving beyond two-dimensional Western-style maps. This yearlong exhibition is presented through diverse voices and formats, and includes in-museum and outdoor installations, film, artist residencies, and public programming.

Art and Activism

Social activism inspires the artists included in the exhibition, many of whom work in sculpture, large-scale installation and performance. Among them are multidisciplinary artist Christina Seely, who addresses complexities of both built and natural global systems, and Grammy-nominated artist and musician Stuart Hyatt, whose projects transform field audio recordings into musical works. Many other artists from all over the world are featured in this exhibition, including Nikita Gale, Ingo Günther, Gaye Chan, Outi Pieski, Jenni Laiti, Niillas Holmberg, Amalie Atkins, and more.

Community-generated Landmarks Archive

Included in the exhibition is a community-generated archive of Anchorage-area landmarks and sites, as the museum gathers cultural, historical, and emotionally affecting stories and images not typically included on maps or in guidebooks. Anyone can submit an image of a landmark or place by visiting the Anchorage Museum’s Counter Cartographies submission portal. Public programming will also be featured on the site. Sponsors include The Atwood Foundation, Cook Inlet Region, Inc., and the Henry Luce Foundation.

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