Wendy Red Star curated exhibition open at Princeton University

An exhibition which debuted February 5 at the Princeton University Art Museum gathers work by Indigenous artists who consider the complex histories of colonialism, identity and heritage. The exhibition, curated by Wendy Red Star, spans a diverse array of intergenerational practitioners, offering new perspectives by artists who reimagine what it means to be a citizen in North America today. Native America: In Translation features works by Rebecca Belmore, Jacqueline Cleveland, Martine Gutierrez, Duane Linklater, Guadalupe Maravilla, Kimowan Metchewais, Alan Michelson, Koyoltzintli and Marianne Nicolson. It will be on view at the Princeton University Art Museum’s Art on Hulfish gallery, located in downtown Princeton, through April 24, 2022.

Native America: In Translation is curated by Wendy Red Star, a Portland, Oregon–based artist raised on the Apsáalooke (Crow) reservation. The exhibition is organized by Aperture Foundation, New York, and extends Red Star’s work as guest editor of the fall 2020 issue of Aperture magazine.

In the exhibition, artists from throughout what is now called North America — representing various Native nations and affiliations — offer diverse visions that build on histories of image-making. 

Duane Linklater (born 1976, Moose Factory, Ontario, Canada; lives in North Bay, Ontario), Untitled, from the series ghostsinthemachine, 2021. Archival pigment print; 58.4 × 42.5 cm, 64.1 × 79.4 cm (frame). Courtesy of the artist and Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver (NAT-19)
Duane Linklater (born 1976, Moose Factory, Ontario, Canada; lives in North Bay, Ontario), Untitled, from the series ghostsinthemachine, 2021. Archival pigment print; 58.4 × 42.5 cm, 64.1 × 79.4 cm (frame). Courtesy of the artist and Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver (NAT-19)

This includes Kimowan Metchewais’ meditative assemblages and Polariod collages, which pursue a “self-made Native Imagery;” evocative installation works by Alan Michelson that investigate colonial histories; Koyoltzintli’s speculative mythologies, which document imperiled Indigenous oral traditions; and Guadalupe Maravilla’s fictional and autobiographical narratives. Martine Gutierrez’s high-fashion self-portraits present a revolving roster of interchangeable, often Indigenous, identities that ask what makes a “Native-born woman,” while Rebecca Belmore’s photographs comment on labor and the environment and confront the pain of state violence against Indigenous people. Jacqueline Cleveland recounts foraging as a form of knowledge transmitted through family rituals tied to the seasons of her coastal Alaskan village. Marianne Nicolson’s photographs use forms of light to tell stories about community, the impacts of capitalism and the ongoing tension felt by Indigenous peoples in relation to settler colonialism.            

Some of the artists are propelled by what the historian Philip J. Deloria describes as “Indigenous indignation” — a demand to reckon with eviction from ancestral lands — while others translate varied inflections of gender and language, as well as the impacts of climate change, into inventive performance-based imagery or investigations into personal and public archives.

“The ultimate form of decolonization is through how Native languages form a view of the world,” Red Star notes. “These artists provide sharp perceptions, rooted in their own cultures.”

Art on Hulfish

Art on Hulfish showcases a roster of exhibitions led by photography that consider issues of profound impact on 21st-century life. Located in downtown Princeton, it encompasses some 5,500 square feet of space for exhibitions and for public programming, ranging from drop-in activities to scheduled work with artists. Admission is free. The gallery will present four exhibitions each year until late 2024, when the Museum’s new building designed by Sir David Adjaye is projected to open.

About the Princeton University Art Museum

With a collecting history that extends back to 1755, the Princeton University Art Museum is one of the leading university art museums in the country, with collections that have grown to include more than 113,000 works of art ranging from ancient to contemporary art and spanning the globe. Committed to advancing Princeton’s teaching and research missions, the Art Museum also serves as a gateway to the University for visitors from around the world.

The main Museum building is currently closed for the construction of a bold and welcoming new building, designed in partnership with Sir David Adjaye and slated to open in late 2024.

Art on Hulfish, located at 11 Hulfish Street in Palmer Square in downtown Princeton, is open daily. Admission is free.

Please visit the Museum’s website for digital access to the collections, a diverse portfolio of virtual programs and updates on opportunities to visit in person. The Museum Store in Palmer Square, located at 56 Nassau Street in downtown Princeton, is open daily, or shop online at princetonmuseumstore.org.

More information: artmuseum.princeton.edu

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