Archive for September 4th, 2013

04
Sep
13

Exhibition: ‘This Is Not A Silent Movie: Four Contemporary Alaska Native Artists’ at Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles

Exhibition dates: 26th May – 8th September 2013

Curator: Dr Julie Decker, Chief Curator at the Anchorage Museum

 

 

Da-ka-xeen Mehner. 'Finding My Song Weapons' 2012

 

Da-ka-xeen Mehner (Tlingit/N’ishga – American)
Finding My Song Weapons
2012

 

 

Another interesting exhibition that this archive likes promoting, this time about mixed-race identity.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

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Many thankx to The Craft & Folk Art Museum for allowing me to publish the art work in the posting. Please click on the images for a larger version of the art.

 

Da-ka-xeen Mehner. 'Finding My Song Weapons' 2012 (detail)

 

Da-ka-xeen Mehner (Tlingit/N’ishga – American)
Finding My Song Weapons (detail)
2012

 

Da-ka-xeen Mehner. 'Finding My Song' 2012

 

Da-ka-xeen Mehner (Tlingit/N’ishga – American)
Finding My Song
2012

 

Da-ka-xeen Mehner. 'Finding My Song' 2012

 

Da-ka-xeen Mehner (Tlingit/N’ishga – American)
Finding My Song
2012

 

Da-ka-xeen Mehner. 'Finding My Song' 2012

 

Da-ka-xeen Mehner (Tlingit/N’ishga – American)
Finding My Song
2012
Projections on rawhide
Courtesy of the Anchorage Museum

 

Da-ka-xeen Mehner. 'Finding My Song' 2012

 

Da-ka-xeen Mehner (Tlingit/N’ishga – American)
Finding My Song
2012
Projections on rawhide
Courtesy of the Anchorage Museum

 

Da-ka-xeen Mehner. 'Finding My Song' 2012

 

Da-ka-xeen Mehner (Tlingit/N’ishga – American)
Finding My Song
2012
Projections on rawhide
Courtesy of the Anchorage Museum

 

Nicholas Galanin. 'There is No "I" in Indian' Nd

 

Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Aleut – American, b. 1979)
There is No “I” in Indian
Nd
Digital photograph

 

Nicholas Galanin. 'White Carver' Nd

 

Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Aleut – American, b. 1979)
White Carver
Nd
Performance and installation

 

Nicholas Galanin. 'Indian Land' 2012

 

Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Aleut – American, b. 1979)
Indian Land
2012
Digital photograph
Courtesy of the artist

 

Nicholas Galanin. 'Things Are Looking Native, Native's Looking Whiter' 2012

 

Nicholas Galanin (Tlingit/Aleut – American, b. 1979)
Things Are Looking Native, Native’s Looking Whiter
2012
Digital photograph
Courtesy of the artist

 

 

The Craft & Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) in collaboration with the Anchorage Museum presents This Is Not A Silent Movie: Four Contemporary Alaska Native Artists, an exhibition centred 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. It will be on view from Sunday, May 26 through Sunday, September 8, 2013.

Through the language of contemporary visual art, Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Susie Silook, Da-ka-xeen Mehner, and Nicholas Galanin seek new and distinct ways to speak of tradition and mediate the serious and sometimes ironic conditions of art, identity, and history in the late 20th and early 21st century. Though each artist’s work is rooted in a lifelong immersion in their respective Alaska Native craft traditions, their multi-media installations dissolve the boundaries between contemporary and traditional arts.

Sonya Kelliher-Combs (Iñupiaq/Athabascan) utilises media such as polyurethane, Beluga intestine, and walrus stomach into her paintings, sculptures, and labor-intensive installations. These works often simulate skin, which is a point of investigation into her struggle for self-definition and identity. Nicholas Galanin’s (Tlingit/Aleut) video and photography installations object to the cultural appropriation and categorisation of indigenous peoples by popular culture. In Things are Looking Native, Native’s Looking Whiter, Galanin creates a split image that is a composite of one of photographer Edward Curtis’ Native American models with actress Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in Star Wars. The image references the cross-pollination of the traditional butterfly whorl hairstyle that was worn by unmarried Hopi girls and the popular culture image. In 2013, Galanin received a major award from United States Artists.

Carver Susie Silook (Yupik/Iñupiaq) is a writer and sculptor. The ancestral ivory dolls of Saint Lawrence, traditionally carved by men, are the basis of her work. Silook also departs from tradition by depicting women in her carvings rather than the animals most commonly rendered by men. Her walrus tusk carvings add a distinctly feminist perspective to an otherwise male-dominated art form as they address the widespread incidence of sexual abuse and violence perpetrated against Native women. Silook received a United States Artists Fellowship in 2007. Da-ka-xeen Mehner’s installation Finding My Song (Tlingit/N’ishga) draws upon his family’s stories to take a personal look at the retention and reclamation of language. The installation is inspired partially by his grandmother, whose mouth was washed out with soap whenever she spoke her Tlingit language in school in order to “encourage” her to speak English. Mehner’s work examines his own multicultural heritage – and the social expectations and definitions that accompany each aspect of it.

The title This is Not A Silent Movie comes from a quote by Native American writer and filmmaker Sherman Alexie, who works to move audiences away from narrow and stereotypical views of Native people – a view that Native people had very little influence in shaping. The exhibition has been curated by Julie Decker, Ph.D., Chief Curator at the Anchorage Museum.

Press release from The Craft & Folk Art Museum website

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Susie Silook. 'Keeping My Heart' 2008

 

Susie Silook (Yupik/Iñupiaq – American, b. 1960)
Keeping My Heart
2008
Courtesy of Anchorage Museum Collection

 

Susie Silook. 'Aghnaghpak (Great Woman)' Nd

 

Susie Silook (Yupik/Iñupiaq – American, b. 1960)
Aghnaghpak (Great Woman)
Nd
African Mahogany, whalebone, polar bear, turquoise, baleen, ivory, ink, walrus stomach membrane, brass

 

Susie Silook. 'The Healer' Nd

 

Susie Silook (Yupik/Iñupiaq – American, b. 1960)
The Healer
Nd
Basswood, caribou antler, ivory, baleen, seal whiskers, purple heart, red ocher

 

Susie Silook. 'Ice Incantation' Nd

 

Susie Silook (Yupik/Iñupiaq – American, b. 1960)
Ice Incantation
Nd
Walrus ivory, purple heart, porcupine quills, polar bear, blue bead, baleen, red ocher, whalebone, wood

 

Susie Silook 'Mighty Elder' Nd

 

Susie Silook (Yupik/Iñupiaq – American, b. 1960)
Mighty Elder
Nd
Ivory, natural stones, polar bear, whale bone, brass, pastels

 

Susie Silook

 

Susie Silook (Yupik/Iñupiaq – American, b. 1960)

 

 

Craft Contemporary
5814 Wilshire Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Friday, 11.00am – 5.00 pm
Saturday – Sunday, 12.00pm – 6.00pm
Closed Mondays

Craft Contemporary website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, an art and cultural memory archive, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

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