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Louis Ogemah Opening the Western Door


Louis Ogemah - Artist Statement

Opening the Western Door looks at events as a receptacle for cultural meaning. Thematically speaking, “Winter Count”, in the Anishnaabe context often served as mnemonic devices to religious ceremonies. Much of the visceral impact the painting implies, is subjective to personal interpretation, which upon analysis juxtaposes the Anishinaabe Ceremony with modern events.

September 11, 2001 involves an examination and reaction to social ideologies and conventions troubling our world today. Revelations 17:15 speaks of “…the great city that rules over the kings of the earth” and its eventual demise. Prophetic in one sense, but ultimately the way of human beings. The political ramifications and struggle for socio-economic domination, is a trait seemingly inherent in the present cultural vision. Cultural meaning is looking at world vision and the new world order.

Opening the Western Door refers to the Midewiwin religion of the Anishnaabe. The Eastern Doorway symbolizes the beginning, birth and where the sun rises. It is the entrance where the Midewiwin Ceremonies begin. Upon the fourth day, the Western Doorway is opened and all participants leave, ending the ceremonies. The Western Doorway symbolizes the end, the place of death and where the sun sets.