2007, Video, 9:40 (Colour, Stereo) [clip]
In the single-channel video Hybred, artist Christine Kirouac translates a conversation with her mother into an exploration of the stereotypes and subjectivities surrounding her Métis identity (Cree/Irish). Set in the kitchen of their family home as Kirouac’s mother prepares a pumpkin pie, history becomes the site of debate as the daughter poses a series of questions related to her adoption, amidst a series of jokes collected from the Internet. In the verbal exchange, staples of small talk are turned into negotiations as artist and mother struggle to find a place of mutual understanding. Across anecdotes, memories, confrontations, and crude, politically incorrect jokes related to Irish and Aboriginal stereotypes, the human side of a patchwork history is uncovered as the pair navigate the disconnect between generations. Beneath the banter, these women display contrasting approaches to the traditions of storytelling and attitudes towards race as they reflect the difficulties of finding a common language. In the process, as this duo moves between opposing positions of humour and frustration, the legacy of ethnic expectations is rescaled to the people they most affect.