The Weight is an honest and masterful exploration of the artist’s struggle with depression that offers coping mechanisms as well as teachings from Indigenous lore. For this video project, Commanda uses a mix of digital video footage and Claymation, a labor-intensive stop motion process, involving sculpting figures out of clay or another malleable material and moving the figures for each shot to give the impression of seamless movement upon playback. The artist’s hand is visibly present as each frame reveals an intimate look at the narrator’s struggle with mental illness. This artwork was produced in conjunction with Wapikoni, a non-profit organization that provides Indigenous youth access to a mobile production lab to learn video and music production.
Craig Commanda is an Anishinaabe Algonquin multi-instrumentalist and filmmaker from Kitigan Zibi in Maniwaki, Québec. He is a graduate of St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ontario in 2011 and has been fusing his varied talents together ever since, often scoring the music for his own films. Commanda constructs narratives with the aid of metaphors, poetry and philosophy to enrich his stories. The artist’s use of abstract imagery and symbolism illustrate a keen sense of storytelling, which he further demonstrates by relating his own experiences to the human condition.