The Collecting and Display of Contemporary Native American Art

– Welcome. This is the second
program in the 2018-2019 KHC NEH colloquium, Survivance
on Turtle Island: Engaging with Native American Cultural Survival, Resistance, and Allyship. I’m Kat Griefen, I’m a professor in the Art and Design Department, focusing on gallery museum studies, and also the current KHC
Curator in Residence. This program is supported by the National Endowment for
Humanities Challenge Grant, and I also want to thank
our interim president, Timothy Lynch, for his support of this, and all the other KHC programs here. This is a year long program series, and I also want to share
that it’s gonna be leading up to a year long exhibition
that will open here at the KHC in fall, 2019, that will
be titled, similarly, Survivance and Sovereignty
on Turtle Island: Engaging with Contemporary
Native American Art. This colloquium and
exhibition are organized in collaboration with the KHC staff. Thank you very much,
Victoria, Joel, and Marissa for all of your help on this project, in consultation with Diane
Frayer, who’s Osage Cherokee, with graduate curatorial
fellow, Sophia Lago, KHC fellows, can you raise your
hands if you’re in the room? Barbara Kelly, Angelica
Pomar, there you are, and Julio Meza, as well as students in the Gallery Museum Studies Program, can you identify, Carla, Diana, excellent. We are also very pleased to be forming a KHC Community Committee, so if there are folks who
are here in the audience who have been docents
for the KHC, who are part of the Survivor Group, or
other programs in the past, and would like to join us
on a committee to assist with planning for the exhibition
next fall, we would love for you to join us, so you
can speak to me at the end. Tonight’s program this
evening is very special because it is the event in our series where we have the speaker, Danyelle Means, who is also the consulting
curator on the exhibition, and on the whole colloquium,
so she’s been working with myself, and the
KHC staff, and students over the last few months,
and will be working with us through this coming year, and into the next year on all aspects. And today she’s gonna
be speaking specifically about her own research,
so we’re very honored that she’s working with
us, and is here all the way from Santa Fe this evening. Just to give you a little
idea, a brief intro to our program, the colloquium
addresses cultural survival and resistance of Native
Americans and First Nations people in the face of genocide
and mass atrocities, and thus connects very directly
to the mission of the KHC. Survivance, the word in the title, is a central theme of the project, and a term which has come
to encompass narratives of active survival and resistance in opposition to the idea of victim-hood. Now, what is the Turtle
Island in the series title? Turtle Island is the name given to this continent by the Iroquois Nation, Anishinaabe, and the Lenape, the latter which are the first native group that is, was in this region where, and still is in this region where Queensborough
Community College is seated. Not unlike Noah’s ark
rising from the waters, this indigenous creation story about Turtle Island tells us
this continent came into being when a great girl turtle raised
her back out of the ocean, so that’s, America is Turtle Island, and Turtle Island is America. As you may have already noticed, this program series,
in this program series, we’re looking to address survivance from an indigenous perspective, but also to draw connections
to other communities of survivors, and the local community of survivors, who’s very
involved here at the center, and to relate to issues of repatriation, restorative justice, and allyship. With that in mind, I want
to rewind to two years ago, fall of 2016, and share with you something that was happening then,
and maybe has spurred some, and has spurred some things
that are still happening today. Chief Arvol Looking
Horse of Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota nations, in fall, 2016, called for other religious leaders and communities of faith
all across the nation, and across the world, to join him and other indigenous peoples, who were gathered at the
time at Standing Rock, to, in allyship against the
Dakota Access Pipeline, which was threatening to
destroy ancient burial sites, sacred land, water, and life. Rabbis and religious leaders
the world over responded to that call that fall. Rabbi Susan Goldberg, from
the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles said, “On Thanksgiving, “we stood at the edge of the waters.” So her, and rabbis, and
other religious leaders. “We stood at the edge
of the waters running “through the land, we stood in support “of peoples who are not our own, “but whose claims to protect their land “and their lives we deeply understood. “We stood in hope, and
we stood in prayer.” So this spring, as part of
the colloquium, we will have Standing With Standing Rock on
Allyship and the Environment, and we’ll have one of the rabbis
who was there at the time, as well as some of the other participants. So this colloquium, and the whole curatorial team
here has been trying to think about this question of allyship,
and connecting communities, and weaving this into
all of our programming, and certainly into tonight’s program, so. Now for tonight’s program, very briefly, I’m pleased to introduce Angelica, who will be introducing
Danyelle Means more fully. Angelica’s a student in the
Gallery Museum Studies Program at QCC, and a current KHC fellow. She is interned at The
Whitney Museum of Art, the New York Historical
Society, and Soho20. Angelica will start with a
brief land acknowledgement before introducing Danyelle. By acknowledging the land
and the people who were here before us, and whose
land was forcibly taken, we will offer respect and
recognition, Angelica. – Thank you. Thank you, Kat, hi,
everyone, I’m Angelica Pomar, and I’ll be mediating today’s
discussion and lecture. As Kat mentioned, I’m one of the fellows of KHC’s upcoming
exhibition, thank you all for coming to our second
program of the season, the Collecting and Display of
Contemporary Native American Art, with our lecturer today, Danyelle Means. Before beginning the program, I would like to take a moment to make a land statement that pays respect towards all the strong and resilient indigenous
individuals who occupied this land that we are meeting on today. Now, with that being said, I’m going to be sharing a short bio with you all about our lecturer, Danyelle Means. Danyelle was born and raised
on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, Danyelle
Means is a citizen of the Oglala Lakota nation,
with a family deeply engaged in cultural activism and awareness. Both her professional and
academic career has been guided by the desire to ensure
that cultural heritage of the people native to
the continent be preserved, enhanced, and better understood for the good of all, Danyelle worked at the Smithsonian
Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, NMAI,
where she began in 1992. Over her tenure at NMAI, she was a part of the planning and design of
the museum’s flagship venue on the National Mall in Washington, DC. She helped with the transportation of the collection’s
first to lower Manhattan, then to Suitland, Maryland. She accompanied tribal consultations and accessing objects from
their cultural patrimony, and was privileged to
be asked to participate in a repatriation ceremony. Finally settling into the
Exhibitions Department, Danyelle project managed
several exhibitions at the museum’s New York
venue, and onto national tours. After leaving, after leaving
NMAI, Danyelle has continued to work as a consultant for the museum, the most recent engagement
being in 2015, where she worked to develop educational resource
information, in conjunction with an upcoming exhibition,
Native NY, Where Nations Rise. This exhibition will focus on the history of the indigenous inhabitants of what are now the five
boroughs of New York, and will be permanently
displayed in lower Manhattan. In addition to the work with NMAI, she has consulted on
several other projects, and worked with academic institutions on issues of Native
American cultural heritage, object preservation,
exhibition development, as well as wider representation through educational programming. Having completed her
coursework in Florence, Italy, Danyelle is writing her master’s thesis on the collection and display of contemporary Native American
art in European museums. She’s the mother of three young men, and currently lives in
Santa Fe, New Mexico. Danyelle is also the
co-curator and consultant with her upcoming exhibition,
Survivance on Turtle Island. I also have worked with
Danyelle last spring, during the beginnings of
the exhibition process, in my art curating
class, with Kat Griefen. From my experience, she
presented many amazing and exciting ideas that challenged the way I viewed Native
American contemporary art, especially regarding repatriation. Having said that, I’m especially excited to have her here today so she
can share her great insight, and will be able to discuss
these very fascinating topics with all of you, today in her lecture, Danyelle will be sharing her
insight, as I just mentioned, on the various issues surrounding
contemporary art today, through her research on museum collections and exhibition practices. For her research, Danyelle
will be presenting many contemporary indigenous artists who will have interpreted the way of contemporary art through their identity in both today’s society,
and in the art world. Specifically, Danyelle is interested in the responses and perceptions of people who view these exhibitions with indigenous contemporary art. This program will be intended
to be more of a discussion, the impact of how this
information is reciprocated through the audience is equally important as the lecture Danyelle
is going to present to us, so please feel free to ask questions, and definitely do not be shy to comment on the various issues that will arise. There will be a mic that
will be passed around on either sides for anyone who wants to speak, but it’s important that you raise your hand
before you decide to speak, and the mic will be passed your way. So, with that being said, also make sure that you fill out the surveys, as a way to respond back to the institution, and a way to give us
feedback on what you thought about today’s program. So now I’m gonna shift
your attention to Danyelle, and we’ll officially begin
to program, thank you. (audience applauds) – Thank you, Angelica, thank you, Kat. I’m gonna put this down here. I also want to acknowledge the first peoples here. One of the things that we
do as native people is, when you come to someone else’s territory, you make sure that you thank them for their hospitality, and understand that you are on their territory now. And so I want to thank the Lenape peoples, all of the peoples that we may not know who lived here before, and just thank them for allowing me to be a
part of tonight’s program. So. Now, oops, wrong way. One of the things that I was doing while I was in Florence for my master’s program,
I was trying to figure out what and how I could write
about native peoples while I was in Europe, and one of the
things that I really was struck by was that most of the
art that was representative of my people, and of other native nations, was that the art was typically in a, an ethnographic setting,
and by ethnographic, I mean, most of the time, it was life ways, so you’d see pottery, and, and more objects that were collected by colonial representatives, and it struck me that the modern native wasn’t
represented anywhere in Europe, or very few places in Europe,
and so one of the things that I wanted to do was,
was try and figure out, what are the collecting
and display practices of some of the larger museums? In my, in my talking to curators and directors of these
museums, one of the things that I found out was that
they do have collections of contemporary Native American art, they’re just not on display. And one of the things that, that made my focus so important
was that I wanted to see those objects put on
display, in reaction to what, what was, what was being
represented as my culture. So some of the things that I
want to talk about here is, we’re in New York, we’re not in Europe, and so I wanted to look
at some of the things that are here now that
everyone can go and visit. This is, this is The Met, and this particular, this particular gallery holds Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Which is basically two thirds of the entire globe. And I thought one
gallery is representative of all these different people, and it’s a little
frustrating because I know that there are hundreds
of contemporary artists that, that have voices
that need to be heard. This is a photograph of an
exhibition in 1941 at MOMA, and as you can see, these gentlemen, who are doing sand
painting, as representative of contemporary native art,
are literally on display. And it was, this is shocking to me now, I guess you could call it performance art, but at the time, it definitely
is more voyeuristic, more focused on them as an other, and, and very much frustrating. This is a current exhibition at the National Museum
of the American Indian, down in lower Manhattan, on Bowling Green. This is where I used to
work, these are collections that I worked with
often, one of the things that’s difficult for a museum like the National Museum of the
American Indian is that this is what people come to see, they want to know the breadth
and depth of the collection, they want to know, what are the
objects, who are the people, and for a collection like
this particular collection, it is all of the people of the western hemisphere,
including Hawaii. And that is, that’s difficult to show, and you don’t want to leave people out, the collection has over 800,000 objects, it’s difficult to be able to, to break those things down. So it ends up becoming very similar to the displays that are in
Europe, and across Europe, but this doesn’t tell me anything about contemporary native peoples, and what they’re, what they’re doing now, how they’re expressing
themselves artistically, and so it’s still a
little frustrating for me. Right next to that gallery
is a gallery currently, until January of 2019, an exhibition of contemporary native art that is completely new, and fresh, and electronic, which is, again, we’re
bringing native people into a modern age. They’re not objects that are, that are from 150 years ago, these
are contemporary artists, this is Marianne Nicolson, and she’s, she, the name of this work is
Harbinger of Catastrophe. And the work itself, the
light moves up and down inside what is very similar to a bentwood box from the northwest
coast, where she’s from, and it talks about the rising water, and how the rising water can take over. And what is great about
this particular piece is that it, it shows that
we’re, it’s an ebb and flow, it’s a tide, and for many
of us here in New York, with recent hurricanes, this is, this really does talk
about the cycle of life, and how things can change
in a matter of days. And I do, I do think that this is, this is something that we need to, we need to recognize that
these same kinds of traditions, the same cycle of life
can be, can be shown and displayed in a much
more modern context. And, and yet, still, very
close to her culture. In that same exhibition space is another work by Raven Chacon, who
works in both sound and light. This particular, this particular piece of his talks about
the cycle of life, as well, and his, his way of
representing day and night, and the different colors that
are associated with that. This gallery changes over the entire day, so from when the museum opens at 10:00 am, until 5:00 pm when it closes,
the colors represent the dawn, the daylight, the evening, and the night. And so it is those four,
those four concepts. It’s also about the creation story, and each of those are speakers, and all of the story is
spoken in not only Navajo, but it’s also spoken in English, and that story is repeated
over and over and over again to talk about how we’re generations over and over and over again. And these are the kind of works that native people are doing now, and it’s important for
everyone to see that because we aren’t just the
pots, and the hide shirts, and the things of the past. There we go. This is a ledger drawing, really modern painting, and modern forms of art, European forms of art were introduced after the Indian wars, and after the implementation
of reservations. So a lot of the pictorial, introduction to pictorial representation came along the lines of this, giving native people paper and
pencil to express themselves. This is representative of
the Pueblo watercolors, also, very early on, 1930s, Pueblo people were given, again, paper, watercolors, to try
and represent this sort of very two dimensional
version of their ceremonies. A lot of what happened there was started by different schools
that took native people, native children, young people in, and encouraged them to do their art. One of the things that
was a little frustrating for some of the students of this was that there was a definite idea of what native art was
supposed to look like. You were supposed to draw your ceremonies, you were supposed to draw these kinds of colorful activities
that you were a part of. What ended up happening was that a young painter by the name of
Oscar Howe, who is one of my, he, for me, represented a successful, he was Dakota, a successful Dakota man, as an artist, and as a
celebrity in South Dakota, when I was a young person, he, he represented success for me, that as, as a native person, you can
hold onto your heritage, and still be a part of the larger society. One of the things that
happened with Oscar Howe was that he had, he had
entered a native art show, and he had sent one of this works, and was sent back a letter saying that it wasn’t native enough,
it didn’t look native enough, and this was his response. “Are we to be held back forever “with one phase of Indian painting, “with no right for individualism, “dictated to us as the
Indian has always been, “put on reservations and
treated like a child, “and only the white man
knows what is best for him?” And it, it signaled a change, that there were very
interesting and unique ideas that ended up becoming
a part of this larger idea of contemporary Native American art. This is one of Oscar Howe’s paintings. And again, you can see, it’s not the two dimensional,
it’s not just the, it’s not, it’s representative
of the movement of these birds, it’s
representative of the colors that are a part of life,
they’re, it’s not static. Another one of his
paintings, The Seed Gatherer. Again, you know, using
color and movement, and expression that wasn’t
traditionally native, traditionally, didn’t look like you’re supposed to, you were supposed, you
were being represented in other galleries. Some of the other artists that ended up, oh, let me go back to Linda. Uh-oh. Let’s see if she’s there. There we go, oh, one more,
she doesn’t want to be there. That was Linda Lomahaftewa,
and she is Hopi, and an artist that,
again, was a young woman, and trying to break out of this idea that she had to do art
in one particular way. She and a number of other artists, TC Cannon, why are they going away? – [Kat] From someone from the tech side take a look at (mumbles)? – Yeah. Okay. I’m not, well, okay. So TC Cannon doesn’t
want to see you, either, but TC Cannon was an artist, again, who wanted to push boundaries, who wanted to be inspired by
contemporary American artists, and be seen as a contemporary
American artist, and that, that was new, to be not categorized as a native artist, and to show himself with, that
was his own self-portrait. Okay, he was there, briefly. Okay. They’re all disappearing. – [Kat] We’re working
on the technical issue– – That’s all right. As, so, anyway, Harry Fonseca, Harry Fonseca’s another
artist, again, breaking away, particularly, if you saw that briefly, that was a coyote, and
using some of those symbols, using some of the, what you would see as maybe native, or understand as native,
recognize as native, and being able to pull it
into a much more pop art, much more contemporary version of it. Coyote is often the trickster, often someone who’s trying to get one over on, on everyone else, and that is
exactly what those trickster, the trickster images were a part of. Oh, well, Frank’s gonna stay,
this is Frank Buffalo Hyde, and again, along the lines of the pop art, using these images of, of
what is recognizably native, and what is recognizably contemporary. So everyone can see
that this is an iPhone, but again, Frank, with his
name, Frank Buffalo Hyde, he actually has a, a theme going through a lot
of his work with the buffalo, playing on, again, that,
the idea of playing on his name, how that represents native people, how that’s recognizably native, but at the same time, wanting to, wanting to stretch
himself, in terms of the, in terms of art, and go into
a much more pop art arena. This is Edgar Heap of Birds, Edgar, Edgar is an artist who was here in the, in New York City, in the
late ’70s and early ’80s. What Edgar noticed is that he was on land that was native, and yet there was no
representation of native, and so he started these series of, of one liners that really
kind of make you think. So if you read a couple
of those, it reminds you that we’re, we’re still here,
that there are native issues that are everyone’s issues. And really, one of the things that is, is very unique about Edgar is that he refuses to explain his work, and you have to get what
you get from his work. Please come back. Okay. Okay, that was Chris Pappan, and Chris is a contemporary ledger artist, like those first images
that I showed you with the, with the horse on the piece
of paper, very static, two dimensional, Chris’s
work is work that is, it’s ledger art, brought
to a whole other level. All of his work is done in pencil, all of his work is hand drawn, but what he ends up doing is he, he’ll take those images,
and if you saw it briefly, was three versions of that same woman, and they’re all hand drawn, and they’re all just a
little bit stretched, just a little bit made to, made to look unreal. And yet, they’re so very
realistic, and Chris, his work is really one of the, one of the, there she was. His work was really one
of the most significant, new ledger art that’s coming out. That’s Monty, Monty Little. Monty was a student at IAIA, which is the Institute of
American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, and I met Monty several years
ago as a college student, much like some of you here, who was trying to figure
out where his art was going. Monty was given a scholarship
to attend a summer program in, in Venice, Italy, and study there for five weeks. And one of the things with
native people is we’ve, we’ve become very comfortable
on our reservations, we’ve become very comfortable
in our native bubble, and the Institute of
American Indian Arts is a way for younger native artists to stretch
themselves a little further, and move into a, a more modern and more contemporary art venue. One of the things that, that was significant with Monty is
that his tenure in Venice, for him, opened up an entire new world of art, and being able to experience
that, as a native person, being able to go and see
the Mona Lisa in Paris, and be able to see the, all of these things that
were only ever represented in books, and only ever something outside of themselves. Being able to go and
experience all of that, be a part of the Venice Biennale, be a part of that contemporary native art, he now describes his art as works that he did pre-Venice,
and works that are post-Venice because of the, the connections that he had with what he saw in Europe. – [Kat] Danyelle, because you’d said we could ask questions
during, I have a statement and a question, and the statement is that we have a tech person coming to fix the problem, and
so what I thought was that this might be an opportunity
to ask a few questions. – Sure. – [Kat] And have a little conversation, and then go back into the
imagery so you don’t have to, though you have so beautifully done it, describe to us with what
we’re, you’re seeing. So I’ll start with just
a very basic question, how did you decide, of all of the hundreds of thousands of incredible artists that you could be showing us today as part of this conversation,
which artists to include? – Well, it was, it was very difficult. As you said, there are so many
contemporary native artists, and just trying to share as many of them as possible was
really my goal here. And as in as many different formats. Some of them are personal
friends, some of them, their work speaks to me, and
some of them are controversial. I wanted to be able to
show you the breadth and depth of what
contemporary native art is. And again, as you say, Kat, and you, obviously, being in the field, there’s so much out there to see, I want, if anything, I would want you to Google contemporary
Native American art. If I get you to do that
alone, and just see what images pop up, and see what you like, what, who these artists
are, go to their websites, go and see where their
art has been displayed. That, that to me has been a, a good introduction to contemporary native art. And again, you know, one of the things is, I didn’t get to choose,
I could have had 150, 200, 300 slides of different artists, and I could probably talk to you for 10 minutes on each of them, so. – [Kat] And hopefully
we’ll get to a little, we’ll definitely get to
a little more of that. Is there any other questions so far about some of the work
that we’ve been seeing, and some of the exhibition materials? I’m gonna pass you the mic. (mumbles) Can you pass it down (mumbles). – [Man] We didn’t get to see the slide, but you described Chris’s art
as ledger art, what is that? – Ledger art, so ledger art was in the, in, as, as native people
were put on reservations, a lot of the artists,
specifically in the plains area, a lot of those artists
were artists that had, that had painted on hides,
or painted on canvas. There was very rarely a, and canvas meaning canvas
teepees, and so with ledger art, literal ledgers, which you, you kept calculations on, once they were no longer useful, or had been discarded, they’d
be collected by native people, or by missionaries, or by an agency, the reservation agents,
and given to people to draw on, so a lot of
the historic ledger art that you see is actual old ledgers, and they’re, you can see
the calculations on them, and they’re painted over top of that. So that’s where the ledger art comes from. Chris, actually, likes to try
and find those old ledgers, and draw on them, so they’re actual pieces
of old ledger books that he does a much more
contemporary version of. – [Kat] Are there other questions? – No? Nothing? (background noise drowns out speaker) Okay. – [Angelica] Okay, so
I just wanted to ask, in regards to Native American art today, do you see any trends, like, specifically with how artists present their work, such as, like, subject
matter, or, like, style? I know you were, you
were saying, beginning with Oscar’s work, and
his work is abstract, so, like, for example, veering away from, like, traditional ways
of making native art, or whatever that may be, you know? – Yeah. – [Angelica] So– (Kat mumbles) Yeah, exactly.
– Yeah. As far as seeing trends, you know, I think people are experimenting with a lot of different techniques. In some of the other slides that hopefully we’ll be
able to see, there are textile art, fashion, fashion is a big part of, of the contemporary native art world right now. Jewelry, jewelry design. So it doesn’t just stay in what we may think of traditional western
art, sculpture, painting. It branches out into a
lot of different things, and I think that’s, that’s representative of
native people in general, in that a lot of our art was wearable art, especially when you’re
looking at the plains, which is my people, when you had to travel with what you had, oftentimes adorning yourself,
whether it was with beads, or hide, any kind of different, shell,
that you would trade for, all of those things, it became
a much more wearable art. So fashion is a big part, it, for me, is a big trend in Native
American art, contemporary art. Do we got it? – [Kat] Yeah, I’m gonna
double check that we’re back in action, I think we may
be, so maybe I’ll just give you one more question
while we confirm that. – Sure, sure. – [Kat] Is there any specific examples of museums that you visited in Europe that you thought were better or worse, or for what reasons better or worse, made better or worse curatorial decisions of how to display the collections of the contemporary work that
they did actually put on view? – Yes. Randomly, I came across
a small museum in Zurich, Switzerland, and that particular museum had work that I hadn’t seen before, contemporary native work, and the show itself was
called Native Art Now, and it, I was so impressed with
the curator’s selection of particular pieces. Basically, she had selected artists, again, that I
had never seen before, whose work really spoke to
this idea of contemporary art, abstraction, Jeff Kahm
was one of the artists, who does these very
linear, abstract pieces. Another artist was Cannupa Hanska Luger, who we’ll see at the end here, and I, I hadn’t seen these artists before, and that was shocking
to me, to be in Europe, to be kind of finding frustration in not
seeing contemporary art, and then seeing an exhibit, which was just the wildly opposite, this was contemporary art, it was, it had so many new and upcoming artists, it was just fascinating to me. One of the things that
was on the other end that was very frustrating
is there’s, there’s a museum that was put together around a German
author by the name of Karl May, and Karl May wrote books in the ’50s, ’40s and ’50s, I believe, oh, there’s Chris Pappan. But Karl May’s – Karl May’s museum is a museum of the plains, and he wrote about Winnetou,
and Winnetou was this native who was kind of a Tonto
character, Lone Ranger character, and at the Karl May museum, they display things like scalps, and they display things like
human remains, and they display a version of native peoples that is disrespectful, in my view, and also, they do a program where there’s a man, they have
an outdoor amphitheater, and there’s a man who
paints his face brown, and wears leather clothing,
and he saves the white maiden, and he, and it’s a program. And it’s all about, you know,
how this native person is, is a good guy. It, what’s even worse is
that Karl May never came to the US, Karl May never
saw native people in person, Karl May had an idea of what native was. And that was exported by the US to, you know, to post-war Europe, and
that, that’s frustrating. That is, that is really
a difficult part of, of how, especially the plains
people, are represented. So that, that, the two extremes, Zurich, contemporary art you
wouldn’t think was native, and Karl May, you know,
we’re back to the western. So this is Chris Pappan, and Chris, again, you can see, at the top there, right across her forehead,
is where the ledger part of the paper is, and again, his, he’s not just doing a simple pencil drawing, he is, he’s so incredibly talented, it looks as if this is repeating, like a photograph would repeat. It’s his, his ability to be able to make these, make these images
abstract, and stretched, and, it’s just, it really is incredible. – [Kat] The good news
is it seems that the, we’ve found a workaround solution, and the problem should
be fixed very shortly, can you try going to the next one, and we’ll see if it, we have it. – Yes, okay, so Monty’s there, and Monty was a student
that went to Venice, and his work really did end up evolving. And he’s, he’s stretching
himself, even now, this is post-Venice work, but he’s, he’s now even working in different, in different medium, this, I believe, was an acrylic painting, he moved to oils, he’s done a lot of different things, and is a very young man. And so I look forward to a lot of great things from him. This is a, this is Starr
Hardridge, and Starr, I don’t, it’s hard to
tell from these images, but Starr uses pointillism. So each, each one of those is a tiny dot of paint, and it makes up the whole picture. And when you see it up close,
he does a varnish over the top of it, it looks like
bead work on the canvas, and it is, it’s exquisite,
it, you want to touch it, it’s absolutely beautiful, and
he’s Muscogee Creek, and he, he uses a lot of imagery, both in the, the dragonfly, but also in
the silhouettes of people. And his work is just, it’s, it’s unique, and new, and colorful, and I’m, I’m a big fan of his work. This is Kay WalkingStick, and Kay, like Edgar Heap of Birds,
was in New York in the ’80s, and was introduced to a lot
of the art scene in New York. She’s become very successful, and a lot of her work is representative of where she’s from, and, and she’s, really has, has evolved as an artist, using color, and landscape, and abstraction to be able to, to show her heritage, at the same time, being very approachable. This is Emmi Whitehorse, Emmi, again, abstract designs, is this, does this read as native to anyone? Does this read as this is, this is a native woman artist? For me, it doesn’t, and
I, I like that about it, I like that she is an artist,
and expressing herself, and doesn’t have to have
those, those pigeonholes of a native artist, doesn’t
have to have a horse, or a feather to define who she is, even though, when you, when, when work is, when her
work is written about, and you see the imagery, and
you can pull out those designs that are native inspired, it then, it then has a whole nother life, it has a whole nother version
that you can then see, and it’s all about your
perception of how this work is viewed. This is one of our more
controversial artists, this is Kent Monkman, and Kent is Cree, from Canada, he’s First Nations. And one of the things I love about Kent is that he has taken the, the landscape, the grand
landscape paintings of, for instance, the Hudson River
Valley School, some of the, some of the western art
that you would see as these, like, virgin landscape paintings for manifest destiny, and,
and westward expansion, and all of these things,
ours for the taking. And what Kent has done is
he’s taken a little bit of a spin on it, and he’s created this figure, and her name is Ms. Chief Eagle Testicle, and she wears her high red
boots, thigh high red boots, and she’s usually in the act of keeping non-native people from spoiling the landscape, and
so you see the missionary on the right, you see the soldiers, you see Mount Rushmore in the background, and it is her destiny to, to keep the native people native. This is also a work by Kent Monkman. And, again, you see how versatile
some of these artists are, and some of the work that they do is just, is extraordinary. This is Rick Bartow. Again, abstracting some of these ideas,
and yet having the imagery, he could be compared to a number of American
artists, or European artists, for that matter, this is Norval
Morrisseau, and Norval is also First Nations. Norval was, was one of the artists that transcended a little bit into a more accessible version, especially in France. He was sort of celebrated
as a contemporary artist, and there was a time in the
’50s where several artists had been accepted by the US embassy to display
their art, and had been, an exhibit of their work had
been taken around Europe. Norval, again, such a unique take on his heritage, and this, this I believe is titled
Shaman Talking to the Animals. And again, you know, he, taking those stories, abstracting them, making them colorful, and, and using form line design, which is a part of his heritage, as well. It, these works are just, I believe, these works are things that should be put next to some of the, the more contemporary galleries, and
art museums in the world. This is Rebecca Belmore, and Rebecca, Rebecca is a fantastic artist who challenges you to rethink
your idea of what native is. This particular work is called Fringe, and a lot of contemporary native dancers use fringe in their regalia, and, and fringe being part of what we have on our hide shirts, this
really does speak to that idea of being alive, and
still having this kind of surgery done to you. Marie Watt, Marie’s work is, is incredible, again, this is particularly,
this is textile art, and it, it, it just is, for me, it is haunting. The blankets, when I see this work, I think of all of the blankets that were given out in those days with,
infected with smallpox, infected with disease that wiped out so many native nations, and
it’s just representative, for me, of, of that connection to all of how we are surviving, and who, who was lucky enough not to
get one of these blankets. It just, it, it’s haunting, for me. This is Bob Haozous, and Bob, Bob’s work is, is, again, he uses a material that, bronze, cast bronze, and paint. And talks about, you know, why, why aren’t we a part of
the national landscape, why are we skipped over. And a lot of his work is, is more, has a lot of struggle within it, Bob is
also the son of Allan Houser. And Allan Houser, again, was a, part of that movement in pre-World War II of, is that native. Your work, how does
that say you’re native? And that, challenging those ideas of what native is, what,
what and how we see contemporary native art. He was a contemporary of Oscar Howe, who, who actually challenged the, the idea of what native art was. This is Diego Romero, this is a pot and Diego’s work, again, using some of those same techniques that he was taught for Pueblo coil pottery, but taking the design
to a whole other level. So, again, you can recognize, this
is, you know, video games, and, and yet, do you see, underneath
the, underneath the TV, and underneath where they’re sitting are the, the remains of what their
ancestors taught them, and they’re ignoring it, and so it brings up all of
these issues of where and how we’re raising our kids, what, what are we teaching, how do we, how do we pass on these traditions, and are we, are we missing out? This work is by Courtney
Leonard, who is Shinnecock from this area, around the Hamptons. Courtney’s work really talks about the idea of, of loss, and of reclaiming, trying to reclaim something
that you may not be able to. These are ceramic, what she calls her ceramic whale teeth. And so the Shinnecock Nation
was a nation of whalers, and for her, this represents the loss of their connection to the
ocean, to how they used to function. And, and it, with Courtney, a lot of
what she does is about environmental issues, climate change, making, bringing awareness
to what is going on in our world, and being one of the, one of the nations that has
remained here in New York, as a viable, as a viable tribe, continuous
tribe here in New York. This is Preston Singletary,
and all of those are made out of glass, Preston is a glass artist, and, and his work represents a lot of the Alaskan, Alaskan basketry and carving. And it’s, it really is
incredible, this is a, this is a house front
that Preston has done. Those two pieces on the sides,
the yellow and blue sides, they’re over seven feet tall,
and it’s all cast glass. And with Preston, he’s taken that form that would be made out of wood and paint, and he’s taking it to a whole other level, and the glass house front really, really making you think about these things, and they’re, what they’re made of, and how they function, and had functioned in a contemporary society. This is Erica Lord, and
for me, this piece is a, is a big part of a struggle
of, of native peoples. Erica has, on the top,
on the top photographs, which she’s pieced together, a equation of how blood quantum is calculated. And all of us who, who are enrolled have a fraction of how much we are enrolled, and then we also have a number that is our enrollment number,
which is the bottom number. And for me, it has always been a, an unfair calculation because the idea of blood quantum,
the idea of enrollment was, was couched in this exclusivity that you were enrolled on
a particular reservation. Well, my, my father’s parents were
from two different tribes, so that calculation on the top was one, is one quarter native, from one tribe, and the other is another quarter native from a different tribe, or
1/16th of a different tribe. I had that same, that same issue. Well, my mom is not native,
but my father is full blood, and my calculation is only
calculated on one tribe, and that, so my grandmothers, all of that, all of her native-ness was discounted. And that, that, it’s frustrating to me, and I think that’s one
thing, as native people, we, we’ve struggled with,
we’ve adopted this as, well, I’m an exclusive
member of this tribe, whereas we should be accepting
everyone who has heritage, who has a connection to who we are, yes? (woman mumbles) – [Woman] Could you tell
us a little bit more about the enrollment
process, and why it exists? – So enrollment, basically once the reservation system
was established in 1890, enrollments were based on blood quantum. And so you would have a certain amount of, of a particular tribe, and that would, that would
designate how native you were. So as the boarding school system began being put in place, and these native children
were taken from their homes, as they grew up in these boarding schools, they would obviously fall in love, probably like a few of you have done here, and when they established those families, they’re from different tribes. Now you go back to your reservation, depending on which reservation
you wanted to go back to, and your children are only
one half of what you are are. You’re, and yet, you’re
both full blood natives. And that, that designation of how, how those fractions get, get marked, was a way to assimilate native people into a larger society because at some point, you’re
not gonna have enough native to be native, so, for instance,
my children weren’t allowed to be enrolled on my home reservation because they didn’t count my other half, so I was only a quarter, and you have to be at least a quarter to
be enrolled on a reservation. So as those policies are, and these are, again, these are policies that the US government
has, has implemented in order to make natives disappear, they’re, in 1951, the Indian Termination Act, Indian Termination Act,
it’s a policy of how, how to displace natives
off of reservations to assimilate them into larger society, to get rid of their native-ness. You know, sterilization at, at Indian agency hospitals, all
kinds of different issues that this, for me, represents. That tattooed number is
something I have to tell people about if I want to
designate myself as native. I need to have my enrollment
number in order to, to designate that, and so that, it’s, you think about it, and you think, well, we’re America, we’re the land of the free, home of the brave, you know, religious freedom for all. Well, in 1978, 1978, native people were finally given the right to practice their religion. I thought we had freedom of
religion far before that, 1978, I was 10 years old in
1978, and we were now free to practice our religion, that’s, these are the things
that we don’t talk about, these are the things that
a lot of these artists are trying to convey, things that we’ve
grown up with, that, that are something that
we need to express. And this is Shan Goshorn,
and Shan is Cherokee, and Shan did not grow up
on the reservation, and yet she came back to her grandmother, and her aunts on the reservation, and
learned how to basket weave as a way to connect with her family, as a way to reconnect to her roots. What Shan ended up doing was, and it’s hard to convey
this with her work, each one of those strips is
actually photographic paper, and she has woven in treaty words, and images, and photographs, so that when she weaves the basket, those images reconstitute, and there’re images on
the front and the back. She’s talked about violence against women, indigenous women, she’s
talked about boarding schools, all through her basketry, and the words are hand written on each, each splint of each basket, and they, the idea that she has, the ability to see these designs, and using her traditional designs, and traditional weaving techniques to, to then allow these
photographs and these words to be interwoven together, it’s, her work is just extraordinary. And again, something else that you wouldn’t
necessarily think of as art, or fine art, this is, actually, it would more
likely be called folk art. This is Margaret Wood, and Margaret Wood is a textile
artist, this is a quilt. And this is, I believe this is a six foot, six foot quilt, she is
actually working on, this is one image of a 40
foot quilt that she’s making of her home landscape. And it’s all hand quilted,
it’s all hand pieced, and she uses the fabric to
express the different colors and shapes and designs that are a part of her homeland. We’re talking about
fashion, a big, this is, these boots are extraordinary. All of those, that is actually bead work, so those are all tiny little seed beads. And this is an artist named
Jamie Okuma, and what Jamie, what Jamie wanted to do,
Jamie’s, Jamie’s a fashionista, these are Louboutins, so
she, she loves her fashion. But she also loves to express herself through bead work. And one of the things she
found herself doing was beading her tennis shoes,
and beading her belts, and beading all of these
different things, and finally decided, you know what, let me try and do this on these boots. These boots are absolutely extraordinary. They have the swallow design, and the, the swallow is, is representative of new life, and, and excitement, and energy, and you can obviously see, she put in a tremendous amount of work and energy into those boots. This is Sho Sho Esquiro, and Sho Sho is from the Yukon territory, she’s, I want to say Inupiaq. But might not be, I’m
not quite sure of her, her tribe, but Sho Sho uses, uses the materials that,
that are native to her area. The, the bodice part is made of
seal skin, and seal fur. The belt area is made of carp skin, and the feathers are all from
birds native to her area. She wants to incorporate those things to give you a sense of who she is, and yet, it is an exquisite piece of fashion, and for me, it is just a, an amazing art piece. And actually, the National Museum of the American Indian bought this piece for their collection. Douglas Miles. Graffiti art is definitely something that, that has developed on the reservations, and within the urban landscape. And so as a lot of these
displaced native people were in Oakland, and Cleveland, New York, Denver, Minneapolis, Seattle, as they were displaced, this, the idea of graffiti art
definitely developed as a way to express yourself. Douglas now does a lot of, his art has, has become a more commercial artist in doing his art on T-shirts, and
skateboards, and other, other things that he can
then, you know, commercialize. And, and yet, his work remains on the reservation as stunning, stunning pieces. This is an artist, Ian Kuali’i, and he’s, he’s native Hawaiian, Ian actually works in stencils, and so as
a graffiti artist, he, he used to cut the paper, and then tag everything. Now he’s being paid to do it. (laughs) But some of his work in
paper was so intricate, this is actually stenciled paper, cut out and placed on wood. He’s become a, an artist that has
developed this new technique of, of paper art, and representing some of
the, some of the imagery from his homelands in Hawaii. This is Cannupa Hanska
Luger, and Cannupa is, Cannupa’s an artist that
wants to bring attention to a lot of different ideas, and, and issues surrounding native people. This bead curtain is actually two inch, or, yeah, I guess they’re,
they’re about two inches, clay beads that were made
all across the United States by a variety of different pottery guilds, and sent to Santa Fe to be fired, and then painted, and re-fired
to make up this bead work curtain to represent all of the
native women who’ve been victims of violence, and, and this is an image of a
transgender woman who was, unfortunately, who was killed in Montana, and her image has come to represent all of the women, all of the native women, and the issues surrounding,
with the violence of, violence against women
on the reservations. One of the issues that
has been very difficult for native people is that when a non-native person
comes onto the reservation and commits a violent act, they cannot be prosecuted
or tried on the reservation. So what has happened is, a lot of non-native people have taken advantage of that, and have committed these
crimes on the reservation, and get to walk away because
they’re not prosecuted. And the idea is that a non-native person who would go to a trial
on the reservation, wouldn’t get a fair trial. We’re the only ones
that don’t have that, so as much as we talk about legislation, and, and the Violence Against Women Act, for reservation communities,
this is a major problem. One in three native women, one in three will suffer some sort of sexual violence against them. And it’s, it’s, it is a, it’s an epidemic. This is also Cannupa Hanka Luger, he, he’s from Standing Rock, and this was a, an interactive, another interactive art project that he did. These are, this is mirror, mirror paper, and they’re put on these shield-like substrates. He did a, he did a video to
have people create these, and come out to Standing Rock, and to shield themselves against
the violence, and allow the law enforcement officials
to see themselves reacting to, to their peaceful protest. And it was an incredible idea, it, it had an effect. It gained a lot of media attention. The violence that was perpetrated on the reservation is
only now being prosecuted, and a lot of the prosecutions,
which were arrests of native people for
peacefully protesting, have been thrown out
by the criminal courts. So it’s, these kinds of art projects that end up having a real impact in what is going on in a larger society, is, it’s incredible, and Cannupa’s, Cannupa’s one of those artists that is at the forefront of this. This is another piece of his. And I’m, I’m gonna finish up with
a little bit of this, and talk about the, the exhibit that we’re gonna be doing, but this, this work was a work of about 10 different ceramic sculptures, and, and metal sculptures
called We Have Agency. And these ceramic sculptures are all bound in this black rope, and
they’re in various positions, you can see some of them
are hanging from the, from the wall, but they’re all bound. And the one, the one thing is that each of those sculptures has a knife, and the idea is that we have, we have agency, we have the ability to talk about ourselves,
we have the ability to, to unbind ourselves from these restraints. And this particular work of his has had such an effect on me, one of the things that I, that, that has been frustrating
is to see different exhibitions, and, and writing on native, native art. And to see that it’s,
it’s not collaborative with native people, that
it ends up becoming a, writing about the other, they
believe this, they think that. This, for me, this,
these objects talk about how we can talk about
us in the first person, and how we can explain who we are, and what,
what this means to us. We have agency, and that’s, and it’s it’s within our power
to unbind all of the, all of the struggles that
we’ve had over the many, many years, and we can collaborate. One of the things that has been so wonderful
about working with Kat and her class has been about this idea of talking about collaboration,
talking about allyship. How do you, how do you
work together to make, make these kinds of conversations happen? What is it about native people
that you want to learn about, what is it about native people
that you don’t understand? You know, within the
continental United States, there are over 567 nations, 567 different tribes of people. That’s, that is absolutely astounding, that we have that many different
kinds of native peoples, and so few people know about it. That’s always been my hope,
is to reeducate people about who we are, what we believe in, how
we see ourselves fitting into this larger society, and through this exhibit,
it, through what we’re, what we’re doing, what
we’re talking about, for me, is a big part of that
collaboration, that allyship, that, that ability to hear one another, and be able to really
talk about these issues. I think one of the things
that is so impressive in, in a community like this one is that we, we have shared experiences, we have the ability to, to overcome. One of the things we
talked about with the title of the exhibition is about survivance, what does that mean, what
does, how, how does that become real, and survivance really is about an active ability to survive, to continue, to evolve. And one of the things that I was
especially impressed with was that the collaboration was
so open, and is so open, and the conversations that
we’ve had have been so, so eye opening, and I’m, I’m
proud to be a part of it, I hope that when the exhibition
opens, you all will be, you all will come back, and take a look at what we’ve put together,
and collaborated on. It hopefully is gonna be an
amazing, amazing exhibit, and with that, I’ll end. (laughs) (audience applauds) Any questions? – [Kat] There you go. – [Woman] All right, I wanted to know, is it typical for the more mainstream art that’s considered Native
American to look native? And the pieces that you have shown, like, they’re obviously beautiful, but are they actually
publicized in magazines, or in museums, or are they hidden? – It’s, you know, it’s very interesting. Yes, they’re, there’s, when
you Google Native American art, you’re gonna get the teepees, and you’re gonna get the horses, and the head dresses, and
beautiful pieces of art, but that, but that do sort of conform into those stereotypes. These works aren’t shown
enough, as far as I’m concerned, but if, I’m now living in Santa
Fe, New Mexico, and it, I can say that it is the center of contemporary Native American art. You can go and see some of
these very abstract paintings and sculptures in any
of the galleries there, and you wouldn’t be able to tell what is native and what is non-native. I think some of the work because, because of that ends up not being chosen,
and not being displayed because it isn’t, it
doesn’t have a feather, it doesn’t have the
horse, it doesn’t have, it doesn’t represent
this preconceived notion of what native art is, and I
think with this exhibition, I think it is gonna challenge your idea of what you perceive as native art, and how that has to change within you to be able to recognize what, what was I thinking when I saw this piece? What, how do I, do I see the
connection to native art, do I need to see the
connection to native art? Does it have to be labeled as native? All of those things are things that, you know, any artist struggles with, but it is, it’s, you know, and
it’s not without controversy. I didn’t put up two artists, well, one in particular,
who had a big show at The Whitney this past summer,
his name’s Jimmie Durham. And there’s a lot of
controversy around him, he, for a long time claimed
Cherokee heritage, and all three Cherokee nations have disavowed him, have said he’s not, in any way, enrolled on our reservations, we can’t find any trace
of his heritage here. And yet, Jimmie Durham has been collected by The Whitney, Jimmie Durham is at MOMA, Jimmie Durham is at the Tate in London, Jimmie Durham has sold
himself as a native artist. And it’s frustrating because for a lot of native artists, it’s hard to sort of push yourself into having those, those connections, that
access to a larger art market. And, you know, whether those
constraints are your own, or whether those constraints
are socioeconomic, access to art school, access
to all of these other things, he’s benefiting from
being a native artist, and The Whitney got a lot of pushback for putting his show up this
year, and, and I think now, The Whitney will be collecting
some other native art, hopefully, very soon. – [Kat] Do you made if I
share something from the– – Sure. – [Kat] Another thing from
the exhibition planning, one artist that I visited with, I wanted, a young Lakota
artist who’s here in New York, and came to New York
about three years ago, and previously was in LA. She, we had a lot of
conversation about this question, and you mentioned the
market, I think, also, there’s this other part of it,
which is how artists survive, which is how artists pay their bills, and how they build their careers. And her concern was, she actually had had a very
broad market of her work, she sold her work very
actively through the internet and through Instagram when she was in LA, and when she was making
work that had head dresses, and had feathers, and
it was in her own way. It was not particularly traditional, it was painting, it
looked kind of abstract, also, but that work that was being seen, like, could be read as
native by non-native people, she was making a real good living on it. But she was interested in shifting, and has shifted her work quite a bit to being more abstract,
to being more conceptual, and it still deals with
identity, and she said, “That is one of the things
I’ve been battling with. “How do I talk about who
I am and where I’m from, “but also retain, actually,
the monetary support “that I’ve gotten from making
work that looks native?” And we talked about some artists like Jaune Quick-To-See
Smith, who I think, who’s an elder, like, a
Native American artist who’s been working who’s Salish
and Kootenai from Montana, and has, since, for 30,
40 years, built a career on giving you a little
bit of what you expect, and putting a lot in that
she wants to show you. And that maybe you, not
everybody will read, but that, maybe some people will read, and some people will
take the time to read, but I think it’s a harder,
it’s a complicated path. That’s a great question, are
there other questions, yes? – [Woman] In today’s
world, DNA is very big, and do the nations actually use that nowadays as a way to enroll? Why won’t they do that?
– Well, okay, so two things. First, 23andMe,,
all of those things, if you look at their genetic markers, there is one genetic marker for the entire western hemisphere. So everybody kind of has a
little bit of Native American because you’re talking
about half of the globe. And for me, that is, again, the idea of identity is with my heritage, so I’m a quarter Irish, a quarter
German, and half Oglala Lakota. I’ve chosen my native heritage as my identifier, and I think one of the things about finding out how much Native
American you are is that it, it, it, again, wipes out any kind of distinguishing characteristics, distinguishing heritage that you may have. For me, it’s much more of, I would have a lot more respect for someone who comes to
the reservation and says, you know, can I, can I see
if my ancestors were here? And the tribal, tribal roles
are not open to, and they’re, so, so connecting yourself to
this is usually done through communities, and maybe your ancestor comes from a particular community where there’s a large native population, now, all of a sudden, you’re part native. It’s, it’s really digging
down into those things. You know, the nomenclature
is difficult, one of the, one of the most asked questions for me is, what do you want to be called,
are you Native American, are you American Indian, are you Native, are you indigenous, what is
it that you, how you identify? And for me, I identify
as Oglala Lakota, I, you know, I, that is my, that’s my tribe. And I think any native person
would want to be identified by their tribe, by their specific connection to the land,
to where they’re from. And a lot of, a lot of the art that
you would see has that, resonates in those things that are connected to the land, connected to place, connected to having roots somewhere, and, and it’s important, it’s important. But no, I, anyone who says that they’ve, you know, they’ve done their DNA, and they have Native American heritage, you know, okay, you’re
part of half the globe because there are no
distinguishing markers for native tribes. – [Kat] Is there other questions? Julio’s got a mic free right there. – [Woman] I was wondering
if, while you were in Europe, did you happen to notice how Native American artists were labeled? You know, is it kind of
just a blanket statement, as, like, Native American,
I mean, even here, tribal names are not
especially well known. And then, also, in Europe, and also in America, how do you find native artists who aren’t able to enroll
themselves into a tribal nation? How do you, how do they
identify themselves, or how do museums identify them in their labels if they
cannot technically say that they are a part of a
nation, how do they then label the artist? – That’s an excellent question. First, your first question, in Europe, contemporary art, where I did find it, they did have native, native nations named, and specific tribes. For the non-contemporary
art, or the ethnographic art, it became a little less specific, so it would be Northern Plains, or, you know, very, very
regional in its description of what these things were. When I was in Florence, there’s a museum, the Museum of Anthropology there, which was part of the
Medici collection, so, we came to this section,
and the young woman who was guiding us through the exhibit, there was a hide dress. And the hide was very, it was very creamy white, and I recognized it as a, as kind of a northwestern, maybe plateau area, Idaho, eastern Washington, eastern Oregon tribes, through the designs. And they were very large beads, so, which was a little bit older,
in terms of trade beads. And the young woman describes to us that this was the wedding dress of the very first native woman to marry a white man from this tribe. And I just thought, if you had that much specific information
about this particular dress, why don’t you have any
of the other information, it was just labeled as a Plains dress, and it wasn’t a Plains dress. And to, for me, it’s those kinds of things, the perpetuation of these,
these kind of stereotypes, you know, was this a young woman’s dress, or was this an older woman’s
dress, you know, why, why is it that this was a white sailor, who married
this woman, or explorer? Those kinds of, like,
that kind of story that, it just, it was very frustrating to hear. And then I would turn around,
and I would see my own tribal patrimonial objects, and they were pipes. And so in our tradition, you
never put the pipe together, the pipe stem and the bowl, you only do that when you’re gonna
use it for ceremony, and the, all of these
were displayed apart. And they had sage in them, and sage is a, is an important part of our ceremonies, you burn sage to bless yourself, I think people all know what smudging is, but you cleanse yourself with the smoke from the sage. And these pipes had sage in them, and it wasn’t Italian sage,
it was sage from home, I could tell it was our sage. And that was just baffling
to me, it was like, how do you know to do that, and yet you’re telling me about this, you know, mythical first woman ever to marry a white man in a dress? How, this dichotomy, what ended
up happening was I found out that there was a delegation of people from my home reservation
that had gone over to Florence many years
before, and had brought sage to leave with different
museums and collections, and they had told the curators that you don’t put those pipes together, and when you have them out on display, they should be stuffed with the sage. And it was just, it was, to
me, it was an incredible, they took that information,
and they used it in that display, and yet,
they’re still telling this story about this, this young woman, marrying,
you know, the explorer. And it, so it, you know, you see glimpses of
hope, and understanding, and, and then you don’t. And so that was, that was difficult. And your second question, I’m
trying to remember it now, I’ve talked so much.
(overlapping chatter) – [Woman] How native people that can’t– – Oh, enrollment, mm-hmm. – [Woman] Register, yeah. – One of the things, there’s a, the Arts and Crafts Act, I can’t
remember the full title of it. – [Kat] Yeah, I don’t
remember the full title, either, but it’s–
– It’s, there was a, there is an act of Congress
that basically says, you can’t label your work
as Native American work unless you are enrolled member of a tribe. And ostensibly, that was to
protect enrolled peoples from being exploited, maybe, you know, work that was being imported in, and then sold as Native
American, so there, there’s a reason for the legislation. But if you were never enrolled, for instance, if one of
my sons was an artist, he, technically, until he’s enrolled, could not call himself a
Native American artist. And that, you know, it’s frustrating, but at the same time, it’s, it’s important that, that, with the Jimmie Durhams of the world, that you end up, you
know, understanding who is and who isn’t. And so it’s, you know, it’s a bit of a dichotomy, you know, we want this label,
but we don’t want this label. And it, it ends up, it, a lot of artists struggle with it. You know, I’m trying to think, Fritz Scholder, who was Luiseño from California, was never, he didn’t like to use his native heritage, used a lot of native imagery, but a lot of people didn’t know he was native. Rauschenberg, I’m trying to think of
some of the others, yeah. – [Kat] I mean, I think,
do you mind if I contribute on this?
– No, no, not at all. – [Kat] The law, of
course, wouldn’t actually, wouldn’t be the case in Europe, so that, that particular issue, but here, I have, I mean, this is something
that happens currently, especially, I think, post
the Jimmie Durham exhibition, that there are personally
known, a number of cases where there’s artists who’ve, enrollment is closed, so for
their entire reservation, for their entire nation, so
they actually cannot enroll, regardless of how much they are a part of that community, or
they choose not to enroll because they see enrollment as a marker of the US government, not of something of them, their people. And then, and for either of those reasons, if they’re not enrolled, an institution’s Native
American department, or Native American, or art of the Americas collections saying, I’m sorry, we can’t exhibit this work, we can’t show this work
because of your choosing to, or not able to be enrolled,
so that is happening. And I, my impression is it’s happening in the US more since the
Jimmy Durham exhibition. Can you speak to that in
Europe just a little more, if whether this is different, or, to follow up on that question? – Because there’s so few
contemporary collections on display, it really isn’t a problem
in Europe because there’s, but, then, Jimmie Durham
is representing all of us in the Tate collection,
or in the British Museum, or in any of the other museums
that he’s been collected by. And so it’s, so it’s, it’s frustrating. But I think as more art, contemporary native art
reaches a larger audience, that those issues will
become less and less because I think, you
know, people like Cannupa, and, you know, I’m trying to, I’m kind
of drawing a blank, some of these other artists
that have been collected by these museums, for instance, that exhibit I talked about in Zurich. They bought all the pieces. And so they collected
everybody’s art in that one show. One of the pieces was too
large for them to store, and so Google happened to be
opening up a headquarters, and this particular art piece
is made of the green boards, the motherboards, and is now on display, on permanent display in
Google headquarters in Zurich. So, and I can’t remember
his name, the artist. – [Kat] We just talked
about him the other day. – I’m gonna have to, like,
write his name on my, but he, you know, this particular piece is now permanently
loaned to, in that space. Incredible for an institution
to do something like this, and this institution, I’m not kidding you, is as big as this room. And yet they’re having some of
the most incredible exhibits of contemporary art,
they were doing Yupik, the cartoon art, the line drawing art. It, really, really incredible, you know, forward thinking exhibitions
of contemporary art that we’re not seeing
here, or we’re not seeing in New York, I should say,
we’re seeing it in Santa Fe, we’re seeing it at Denver
Art, we’re seeing it, Minneapolis Institute
of Art, the Eiteljorg. So there are, there are museums in the US who are really focusing on trying to, to bring contemporary native art into a, into an American art setting. And I think October,
when is it, October 4th, the Diker Collection will
be opening at The Met in the American wing, so being moved out of that big Pacific Islanders, Oceania, Africa, Oceania,
and the Americas. This particular collection, being put into the American wing,
along with American art, that’s a first step. – [Kat] Danyelle, I think
that might be a perfect place to end the formal conversation, but, so I want to thank you so much. – Thank you. – [Kat] This was amazing. And thank everybody
who’s been here, and part of the audience, we, there
are snacks and drinks and so forth, so people can
continue informal conversation. I want to remind students to sign in, if they didn’t already, and
please complete the surveys because everything’s free
here, and this allows for us to make better programming, if we understand what works. So let’s give, let’s thank Danyelle warmly for this amazing conversation. (audience applauds) – Thank you.
(audience applauds)

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