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Crypsis: Eradication Methods Laboratory

Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
June 1, 2018 – July 7, 2018

As humankind currently menaces through the 6th great extinction, one could argue that humankind’s earliest common reality or consciousness began when we started to create narratives of hunting that were illustrated on rocks or cave walls. Hunting sustained our early ancestors and helped to devise ways that disguised or manipulated our forms in turn enhancing our basis for camouflage. Animals not only provided life sustaining food, shelter, and clothing; they also enshrined fundamental ideas of medicine, myth, and ritual.

These foundation stories allowed us to reckon our place in our environment and they must have been filled with wonderment and complex mystery. Paradoxically, it was this mystery and ongoing threat from animals that spurned our current extinction dilemma. The ability to camouflage or crypsis allowed our ancestors to have a foothold in the arms race imbalance against our animal adversaries. This was of course a mirror reflection of what the animals themselves had evolved with their own patterns of concealment in order to remain undetected.

All cultures were at some point, and some have maintained an “intertwinedness” with their environment and also specific region’s animals. In the modern sense, the fight to dominate Mother Nature’s paradise has spiraled out of control to the point that the original animal camouflaging has escalated into the animals actually becoming “invisibled”. We must remember that this onslaught between hunting and sustainability for our own species is not that much different from full-scale human warfare. Both endeavors seek to use stealth, bear weapons, use deception, and ultimately dominate a force or region. The only real difference is scale and ferocity.

Ultimately for me, the Eradication Methods Laboratory is a visual code that at one level seeks to continue the legacy of Paleolithic art on rock and cave walls. The Eradication Methods Laboratory’s objective is to be seen as a modern cave painting with a central focus that remains cognizant of prehistoric awareness of surroundings while withholding appeasement/reverence to a higher order of sacred wonderment.

Jamison Chās Banks

Jamison Chās Banks is a multi-disciplinary artist who creates films, paintings, performances, and installations. His works often explore the history of war and territorial expansion, both literal and psychological. Banks appropriates and alters symbols employed in propaganda and popular culture and redeploys them in contexts that subvert their original meanings. He usually begins with an area of investigation that spawns a series of interrelated artworks in different media. During his residency at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe in 2013 Banks created a film, screen prints, and a performance as part of the project Territories: The Frontier. Initially inspired the history of service in the armed forces by members of the artist’s family, this project explored the recent wars that the United States has been engaged in not as singular incidents, but part of a cyclical history. Banks is currently an Adjunct Professor of Printmaking (Studio Arts) at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. Banks is a citizen of the Seneca-Cayuga Tribe of Oklahoma. He is also a descendant of the Cherokee Tribe of Oklahoma and Ioway Tribe of Kansas.


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