Edward Poitras

Lives and works in
(b. 1953 in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; Lives and works in Lestock, Saskatchewan)

In 1988, Edward Poitras staged a land transposition. Cutting a rectangular strip of sod from his home on the George Gordon First Nation and another from the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, he then replanted the gallery lawn on the reserve and vice versa. Before replanting each strip, Poitras cast two words, “offensive” and “defensive,” in lead and buried them in the earth below. The cache is a reminder of the 1885 Battle of Batoche, which ended the Métis resistance led by Louis Riel. A metaphor for the relations between urban and rural life, the reserve grass flourished in its new home, while the carefully tended gallery sod withered and died on the reserve.