Live Review: Shabazz Palaces with Porter Ray at Neumos 8/1/2014
Ishmael Butler and Tendai Maraire both have deep Seattle roots and have helped assemble a brilliant coalition of artistic minds in Black Constellation. The team recently combined efforts forYour Feast Has Ended, a powerful and emotive art exhibit at the Frye Museum showcasing the work of Nep Sidhu, Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, and Nicholas Galanin. Your Feast Has Ended marries “the ancient and sacred in unison with the new and revised” to give cognizant incarnation and immediacy to the cultural misappropriation that we see around us from day to day. Lese Majesty is, in many ways, how Shabazz Palaces create the musical embodiment of these same ideas.
Burn immemorial memory boulders Nicholas Galanin flew into the sky and landed in woodland gardens of the Precambrian. He came from a distance, the artist. Alaskan. Her home community is that of the Tlingit, one of the “People of the Salmon,” which all the territories extending along the west coast of the Pacific Ocean. From West to East, North America, however, this contains an immutable physical and temporal reality, the slow erosion. She immemorial age rocks; its boulders are the oldest rocks of humanity.No less ancient, prehistoric art and founder of the artistic gesture, there is inlaid: petroglyphs and other frescoes, the engraved stone drawings, often mysterious. Armed with an engraving tool, pencil and gold leaf, Native artist is doubly invested, inspired both prehistoric signs and corporate logos usurping the image of “Indians.” With Prerequisite / Requirements, it diverts to bring out several trees and plants as well as a heap of stones at the entrance to the path of the trail first identity detour “Indian Land TM”.Anonymous mineral aggregate, we no longer observed, texture becomes the territory. The labeled plants are symbolic of a reappropriation of the Earth of his ancestors entities. The idea of the trade mark as an extension of private property is revealing not only the weight of the history of colonization, but also our societies based on extreme individualism and immediate profit. If the gesture is elegantly stylized, using irony, it is also politically explicit through art.
Right now on the wall inside the Frye Museum sits a Native American hand drum in a display case. Nicolas Galanin, a Tlingit/Aleut artist, skinned the drum with the American flag. In front of the drum, instead of a drumstick, is a wooden police baton.
The piece made me laugh and shudder at the same time.
Galanin was one of the three artists over the weekend who sat down for a public discussion aboutYour Feast Has Ended, the brilliant show currently on display at the Frye that he, along with Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes and Nep Sidhu, worked together to create. Feast offers up a harsh critique of American imperialism, racism and injustice with work that somehow simultaneously manages to have a sense of humor and transcendence despite the inherent horror of the past it wrestles with. Another of Galanin’s pieces, a pair of tiny engraved handcuffs behind glass, is entitled “Indian Children’s Bracelets.”
include Nicholas Galanin, Damien Hirst, Kate Clark, Mark Dion, Richard Ansdell, David Brooks, George Browne, Berlinde de Bruyckere, Petah Coyne, Ray Harris Ching, , Wim Delvoye, Elmgreen & Dragset, Carlee Fernandez, Richard Friese, François Furet, William Hollywood, IDIOTS (Afke Golsteijn and Floris Bakker), Alfred Kowalski, Robert Kuhn, Wilhelm Kuhnert, Bruno Liljefors, Polly Morgan, John Newsom, Noble & Webster, Walter Robinson, George Rotig, Carl Rungius, Yinka Shonibare MBE, David Shrigley, Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson, Amy Stein, Archibald Thorburn, Mary Tsiongas, Joseph Wolf, Brigitte Zieger, and Andrew Zuckerman.
"…Shabazz Palaces are part of Black Constellation, a collective of visual artists (Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes, Nicholas Galanin and Nep Sidhu, who creates their stage clothing), fashion designers and musicians, including the rapper OCnotes and the avant-R&B duo THEESatisfaction, who host a series of parties called Black Weirdo in Seattle, Toronto, New York and Minneapolis.”
“Mother/Land” features eight international artists whose work for this exhibition focuses on the relationship between land and people, reflecting the artists’ observations on displacement. Each of us has a motherland. However, we are not mindful of it in times of peace. It is a symbolic land, a shared imaginary place that forms part of our identity. In times of crisis, however, “motherland” helps bring together individuals experiencing the hardships of forced migration caused by human or ecological disasters, colonization, poverty, etc. This powerful concept provides the nation with a home, a site charged with sentimentalism and nostalgia.
The creation of the prints are a visage to over 10,000 years of indigenous creativity here on the Northwest Coast in America. The motions of creating these images explode, reference and mimic visual movements of a customary Tlingit aesthetic.
A creative continuum that is put into tangible form through traditional existence on this land. The static monotype print is a stellar remnant of what is left, its decay, interpretation and or consumption slowly warped through perspective and collaboration is ‘Where Did It Go’.
If you’re in Seattle before Sept. 5, Butler’s crew Black Constellation has an exhibit at the Frye Art Museum called Your Feast Has Ended, with textiles, sculpture, paintings and video work from Nicholas Galanin, Maikoiyo Alley-Barnes (Shabazz Palaces’ video director and mask maker) and Nep Sidhu (Lese Majesty album designer). There’s no better way to hear this album than while walking through the museum wearing headphones.
Artists in Conversation Part 2: The Resurgence of shaMEN
LECTURE WITH MAIKOIYO ALLEY BARNES, NICHOLAS GALANIN, NEGARRA A. KUDUMU, AND NEP SIDHUSaturday, August 2, 2014
1:30 - 2:30 pm
“Your Feast Has Ended is a beginning, a point of departure, and a call to action for those who have been fed upon to realize change.” Panel discussion looking at historical understandings and roles of the male shaman with artists Maikoiyo Alley Barnes, Nicholas Galanin, and Nep Sidhu. Moderated by Seattle-based writer, editor, and researcher Negarra A. Kudumu.