Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory
Canada, Denmark, Greenland / 2023
8 min. / VR / Original version
English, Inukitut, Kalaallisut
Embassy of Canada – Marshall McLuhan Salon
TARTUPALUK (PROTOTYPE) is a virtual reality experience during which users are invited to visit the imaginary Republic of Tartupaluk (“looking like a kidney”). Starring director Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory as the larger-than-life, newly inaugurated President of the Republic, the work blends 360 live-action video, motion-capture animation, and VFX to bring to life a poetic, sometimes humorous Inuit utopia set in this barren, uninhabited 1.3 sq km island within the territorial waters of both Canada and Greenland. Having been the subject of real-life, decades-old economic and political disputes between Ottawa and Copenhagen, Tartupaluk is thus completely re-imagined in Laakkuluk’s visionary extravaganza.
The work, set in the glorious spring weather of the Arctic, takes users on a surreal tour of the island accompanied by the President’s arch Kalaallisut/English/Inuktitut voice-over narration, cutting between her inaugural speech recreated from various locations (on the land, inside Tartupalummiut houses, etc.), and overlapped with 3D animations illustrating how a deserted and faraway, yet politically coveted piece of land can blossom into a cross-border, humanistic, and convening “nation of lovers.”
Production Emile Peronard, Charles Stephane Roy. Production companies Anorak Film (Nuuk, Greenland), LMDP Co. (Montreal, Canada). Director Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory. Screenplay Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory. Cinematography Thomas LeBlanc. Editing Mikael Lindskov Jakobsen. Music Joshua Qaumariaq. Sound design Anders Bjoern Roerbaek Pedersen. Sound Tobias Haynes. Costumes Papatsi Kotierk. Make-up Cynthia Pitseolak. Casting Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory. Assistant director Roselynn Akulukjuk. Production manager Halley Roback. Executive producer Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory. With Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory (President), Jaqqa Petersen (Executive Assistant).
Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory is a multi-award-winning Inuk artist, using uaajeerneq (Greenlandic mask dancing), poetry, theater, film, and performance art to tackle topics ranging from colonization, sexuality, intergenerational strength, fear, boundaries, and love. She often collaborates with friend and colleague Jamie Griffiths. Their recent collaborative works include TIMIGA NUNALU, SIKULU (My body, the land and the ice, 2016) for the touring exhibition “#CallResponse” and SILAUP PUTUNGA (2018), a film installation acquired by the Art Gallery of Ontario. Laakkuluk lives with her family in Iqaluit, Nunavut.
Films: 2016: Kiinamit, Kiinamut, Timiga, Sikulu, Nunalu. 2018: Silap Putunga, I am the Light of Happiness. 2021: Nannuppugut!. 2022: Inissaliortut. 2023: Tartupaluk (Prototype).
Ulrich Ziemons talks with artist Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory
In collaboration with the Embassy of Canada
With the contribution of the Inidgenous Screen Office