"Things Are Looking Native, Native’s Looking Whiter," by Nicholas Galanin
Members Preview: This Is Not A Silent Movie
January 30, 2013 6 - 8 PM
This Is Not A Silent Movie(on view January 31 - April 19, 2014) features the work of four Native Alaskan artists: Nicholas Galanin, Sonya Keliher-Combs, Da-ka-xeen Mehner, and Susie Silook, whose use of material and subject matter explore themes concerning heritage and mixed-race identities. In the words of exhibition curator, Julie Decker, Ph.D., these artists “find a space between conflict and resolution, between questioning and criticism, between this generation and the next, and between art and activism. This is not a silent movie; the voices resound.”
We are excitedly preparing for the new feature exhibit, Twisted Path III, Questions of Balance, opening to the public on Thursday, February 6. The evening before we will celebrate the new exhibit with a special opening reception, from 5:00 - 7:00pm on Wednesday, February 5. You must RSVP to attend this event, so please contact Abbe Director of Development, Hannah Whalen, if you are interested in attending - firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-288-3519.
Curated by: Julie Decker, Ph.D., Chief Curator at the Anchorage Museum
Organized by The Craft & Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) in collaboration with the Anchorage Museum, This Is Not A Silent Movie: Four Contemporary Alaska Native Artists is centered around four acclaimed Alaska Native artists whose groundbreaking contemporary works question institutional methods of identifying Native heritage, examine their own mixed-race identities, and challenge perceptions and stereotypes about indigenous peoples.
The ambitious Cross Currents at CVA highlights Native American art
Put together by Cecily Cullen, creative director for the Center for Visual Art, Cross Currents is an ambitious exhibit that showcases contemporary art by Native Americans from across the country. It is a follow-up toCurrents, a show Cullen did at the old LoDo CVA in 2009 that was on the same theme and was equally intelligent in its conception. Incidentally Currents also marked Cullen’s curatorial debut.
In a way, this show picks up where that show left off, and includes three artists who were also in the earlier version: Nicholas Galanin, Marie Watt and Will Wilson. In the earlier show, Cullen points out, the three were cast in the roles of emerging artists, but in the current endeavor, they represent the old guard who are firmly established in their careers…
Today, we bring you the last interview in the series with Tlingit artist Nicholas Galanin on what it was like to participate in the Canadian exhibit and how shows like this can inspire northern artists and peoples.
“I.M.N.D.N.: Native Arts for the 21st Century” (Art Gym at Marylhurst University): The Art Gym kicks off the year with “I.M.N.D.N.,” guest-curated by Todd Clark and featuring seven contemporary artists from the Northwest and Canada: Rick Bartow, Joe Feddersen, Hachivi Edgar Heap of Birds, Wendy Red Star, Nicholas Galanin, Peter Morin, and Terrance Houle. While all of these artists remain connected to their indigenous ancestry and its traditions, this exhibition demonstrates how they have carried that legacy — and their own identities — into the present. (marylhurst.edu, Jan. 13-Feb. 14)
“This Is Not a Silent Movie: Four Contemporary Alaska Native Artists”(Museum of Contemporary Craft): Continuing the theme of the Art Gym’s “I.M.N.D.N.” is “This Is Not a Silent Movie” at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, which will feature the work of four contemporary Native artists from Alaska: Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Susie Silook, Da-ka-xeen Mehner, and, again, Nicholas Galanin. These four artists question conventional stereotypes about indigenous people and critically examine their own mixed-race ethnicities for a show that merges traditional craft arts, such as carving figures from walrus tusks, with contemporary practices, such as appropriating imagery from popular culture. (museumofcontemporarycraft.org, Jan. 31-April 19)
The Art Gym at Marylhurst University opens I.M.N.D.N. - Native Arts for the 21st Century with a preview reception for the artists from 3 to 5 p.m. Jan. 12. The exhibit is organized by Todd Clark, and independent curator and exhibit designer who is affiliated with the Wailaki tribe.
The exhibit features the works of seven contemporary Native artists form the Northwest and Canada: Rick Bartow, Joe Feddersen, Nicholas Galanin, Edgar Heap of Birds, Terrance Houle, Peter Morin and Wendy Red Star.
“The exhibit will explore Native mythologies, colonization, identity and much more, through the smart and talented lens of Native artists in touch with their past, but firmly rooted in the present,” Clark said. “With clear vision and lacking romantic overtures, these artists embody the idea of what it means to be a Native artist in the 21st century.”
For example, the work Tsu Heidei Shugaxtutaan Part 1 and 2(2008) offers a simple mix, but effective on visual, audio and narrative levels. Both videos distributed loop evoke for me the height of the fusion between traditional and contemporary cultures. The first part is simply a representation of a contemporary dancer David “Elsewhere” Bernal dancing in an urban structure to the rhythm of percussion and voice Tlingit, an Aboriginal nation that occupies the Southeast Alaska. Performer, a current gesture accompanies traditional music resulting in a mixed culture frankly interesting. Then, the second part features a Tlingit dancer, dressed in a traditional costume raven. The latter performs a ritual dance to the sound of electronic music. This work is a crossroads of several cultures, tangling with consistency proving that also traditional and contemporary cultural mix, is possible and consistent.
Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture describes a generation of artists who juxtapose urban culture with Aboriginal identity to create innovative and unexpected new works that reflect the realities of Aboriginal peoples today.
Organized and circulated by the Vancouver Art Gallery and based on an initiative of grunt gallery, Vancouver, Beat Nation features painting, sculpture, installation, performance and video.
Artists included in the exhibition are: Jackson 2bears, KC Adams, Sonny Assu, Bear Witness, Jordan Bennett, Raymond Boisjoly, Corey Bulpitt & Aime Milot, Kevin Lee Burton, Raven Chacon, Dana Claxton, Dustinn Craig, Nicholas Galanin, Maria Hupfield, Mark Igloliorte, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Duane Linklater, madeskimo, Dylan Miner, Kent Monkman, Marianne Nicolson, Skeena Reece, Hoka Skenandore and Rolande Souliere. During its Montréal run, the Musée d’art contemporain will schedule performances and other special activities organized in collaboration with Aboriginal artists.