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Carl Beam Canadian, 1943
photo-emulsion, acrylic, graphite on canvas 274.3 x 213.3 cm Purchased 1993
National Gallery of Canada (no. 37009)
The stencilled letters "HIROSHIMA" identify the nearly obliterated aerial photograph of the devastated city following its bombing in 1945. An American five-dollar bill links a portrait of Christopher Columbus to an image of Honii-Wotoma (Chief Wolf Robe) of the Southern Cheyenne. The placement of the five-dollar bill here suggests that the price paid by the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas was equivalent to the destruction of Hiroshima. The images of the bees and the traffic light represent symbols of patterned behaviour.