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Sunday, April 25th, 2021.

It’s strange; I don’t know where or how to start this second post. And yet, there is so much to be said about water. It is everywhere and in everything, and perhaps, my hesitation comes from there; its omnipresence makes it both concrete and elusive.  In the context of this exhibition, I reflect on the place given to water in my daily life. And so I wondered about my rituals.

My daily glasses of water. It is recommended to drink a minimum of one litre of water per day, which I count in doses of 250 ml, for a total of four glasses. Four drinks sound small, and yet it’s so easy to forget to stay hydrated.


First Glass

Like my first cup of coffee of the day, I appreciate drinking my first glass of water in silence. I see these moments as precious, and I avoid socializing during these times. It grants me the privilege of waking up in a state of contemplation. This is an opportunity for me to be aware of my state of mind and to meditate on the day that begins, allowing a few minutes of embodied presence. Do you ever wander around your house with a drink in your hand? Or caught yourself standing in front of a window gazing at the horizon with each sip punctuating your thoughts?


Second Glass 

I have long taken tap water for granted. I became aware of demands from Indigenous communities for access to running and clean water only a few years ago. Some reserves have had boil water advisories since 1995, and in 2015 more than 100 First Nations across the country did not have safe drinking water in their homes. Although the numbers have decreased over the past five years, what has been called progress in the water management crisis is in fact a human rights violation. One that was historically permitted and perpetrated with impunity. On December 2nd, 2020, Marc Miller of Indigenous Services announced that the federal election promise to eradicate this dire situation by March 2021 could not be achieved due to the pandemic. It is unfathomable that our national popular discourse relegates the inaccessibility of basic needs to countries designated as underdeveloped when more than sixty nations are waiting for a permanent solution. In addition, these figures do not include bodies of water threatened to be contaminated by industrial developments in unceded territories. The disparity between access to primary needs for Indigenous individuals living inside and outside a reserve is disproportionately alarming.





Third Glass

Artist Tania Love recently shared a beautiful article from Le Journal du Thé, featuring a colorful conversation between artist Céline Daladier and architect Nicolas Soulier, who currently live in Drôme, France. Their meditation on the ritual of making tea leads to a discussion on urban spatial organization, architecture, the concealment of our water. Daladier and Soulier discuss the relationship we have with water in our home, and this musing particularly seduced me: “ Hiding water and water pipes seems to have become an ideal. But all these waters [drinking water, wastewater, and black-water] have a very strong poetic potential and are likely to become important elements of our habitat and its overall quality. ” (p. 31) This observation reminded me of the universe depicted by author Daniel Coleman in his book Yardwork; A Biography of an Urban Place. Coleman examines the history of his property in Hamilton, Ontario, making connections between the fauna, water and human occupation. His investigation begins with the records of the sale and purchase of his terrain, highlighting the history of colonization and migration that allowed the establishment of his neighborhood. His research continues with the exploration of the circulation of water in his backyard and across the city. The passage from the Journal du Thé echoes this observation made by Coleman: “ But in nature, how do we find the beginning of the pipe? (…) Non-point sources: it’s a name that points to what we don’t know. People like groundwater to stray in the ground- out of sight and out of the way of the structures we build, such as parking, lots, roads, sidewalks, and buildings. ”(p. 102-103)


Fourth Glass 

As I write this post, I realize that I have only had two glasses of water since this morning. It’s so easy to forget to stay hydrated.