Meryl McMaster
Murmur 1Murmur 2Murmur 3
"Murmur" explores how language has constructed our identities. I was inspired by the natural phenomenon of a murmuration-which is a large group of starlings that collectively move as one being. I constructed a large swarm modeled after this occurrence and, from pages of North American history books, cut out thousands of paper birds in the shape of starlings. The murmuration represents our collective identity – we are all influenced by each other and our identities are strongly influenced by our stories and language. These histories have partly constructed the collective identities of Aboriginal Canadians and European Canadians and they represent our relationship with the past and how such pasts are defined by the present. In "Murmur" I photograph myself as a method to understand my autonomous existence outside of formations of collective identity; any insight however is thwarted by the fact that these collective notions of personhood at least in part, determine my sense of self.