Opposite: Untitled (I Tan), Chicago 2006 by Erica Lord (Athabaskan/Inupiaq)
In cultures throughout the world, there is a very human need to mark one’s existence in history, to leave traces of one’s life work, clues that may unravel the story of that person, his or her culture or situation. Alaska, throughout history, has been a crossroads of cultures and populations -human, animal, and spiritual. I am both Alaska Native and settler, bloodlines that may at first seem opposite, but in some way came together in my family. The lineage that i was born into and the land I was removed from create a precarious balancing of cultures and I think it is these origins that have molded my identity. In my work, I try to explore worlds in which translation is suspended -the space beyond singular identities -where worlds collide, merge, or resist each other. Understanding that I move through multiple identities and languages int he context of my individual and cultural framework, I want to create a dialogue with others who also have to traverse cultural divisions and boarders. Using Indigenous and post-colonial theologies, integrated with personal experiences, I investigate the history that is shared by many marginalized communities. I want to raise questions as well as declare convictions -challenge, deconstruct, and influence a new way of thinking about contemporary Native people, our life, and our art. In order for cultural, our life, and our art. In order for cultural survival, we must review our visual philosophy, deconstructing the imposed images as well as our own colonized minds. Through this, the multiplicity of self will evolve along with our expanded notions of what is authentic, traditional, or real. The words that exist within me -such as Woman, Native, Artist, Other -continue to separate and merge again, coming together in a voice that seems to be growing louder every day. I ope to merge the knowledge of my communities with the individual experience to create stories that grow and shift along with the words within and around. Through my art, I want to create a dialogue that wil help to redefine our selves, our communities, and our beliefs.
Durational Performance 2009
Performed at (from top) Philips de Pury, Art Dubai 2009 & Beverly Knowles Fine Art 2008
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
WB Yeats: Cloths of Heaven
A dreaming dress that articulates the inner emotions of a sleeping performer. A skirt, enlarged to gigantic proportions, fills and overflows the space into the surrounding area.
Laurel Jay Carpenter, Red Crest, 2003
A woman appears at the top of the glorious, green crest. The sky is perfect blue. She is dressed in red. The woman walks, each step revealing more of her dress, unfurling behind like a trailing artery. The dress is heavy; it leaves a rut in the thick grass. The woman is tired and strained. Some think she needs help. Others do not. Some are worried she is suffering. Two approach the dress, help lift its weight, and join the woman on her walk. Many follow, to see the dress up close and perhaps help carry it a way. With more fanfare than expected, the woman reaches her destination, and disappears into the adjacent woods.
Materials include: over 100 red dresses collected from individual donors, stitched into one impossibly long red dress and worn by the performer as she walked over the landscape
Site-specific performance; Horsebarn Hill, Storrs, CT; May 2003
Ten blank envelopes each containing a piece of coal sent to ten people, the reference being to return the envelope upon receipt.
Each leg of the trip is recorded, the result is a marker of time, from a distance.
Ten envelopes handed, four came back, ten pins are on the wall, four are occupied.
The other six are still waiting.
Sorry I’ve been on hiatus. Will be back soon I promise!
“Walk the Line”, Kate Gilmore, 2011
For this project Kate Gilmore proposes a vibrant site-specific art work in Exchange Square, London. During the live performance, teams of eight women in two shifts will walk continuously on top of a red structure for nine hours a day; from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Members of the public will be able to walk both around the structure in order to experience the work visually and through the passageway beneath the platform to get a sensory experience of the women walking above. By creating such a visually striking and powerful work, Gilmore highlights and gives prominence to the daily life of professional women in the City of London.