In 1988, the Greenlandic Inuk and Danish artist Pia Arke and her Danish partner, Michael Petersen, painted two monochrome squares: one atop a mountain overlooking the capital of Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland), another in central Copenhagen. The earthworks are anomalous to both artists' oeuvres, yet in this essay, I propose that their iterative structure and enigmatic form provide a lens through which to reassess the development of Arke's early career. In addition to establishing continuity between her views on painting and photography, and on both media's relations to land, the project's fragmented site-specificity evokes larger, representational challenges within the struggle for Inuit self-determination in Kalaallit Nunaat. Identical in material and scale yet marked by undeniable, site-specific differences, the earthworks prompt reflection on the increasingly opaque forms colonial power adopted in response to growing demands for Indigenous sovereignty. This essay, in turn, argues for understanding Arke's cultivation of opaque form in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a response to these political contradictions.

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