A friend calls the stereotypical Native American art peddled in the Southwest and around the world -- normally a large canvas with pastels, a noble Indian on horseback, vast mesas and sands colored by the sun -- blowing hair and feathers. This played-out label leads to two questions. First, Why are we pals with this nincompoop? The second, according to Joe Baker, curator of the Remix: New Modernities in a Post Indian World exhibit, is, Why are indigenous artists not allowed to celebrate the present as other artists do? Why do we require of Native artists a myth or fantasy, an iconography?
In Remix, 15 contemporary Native artists explode expectations with multimedia art addressing varied hip facets of right now, including Apache skateboard kids and Indian caricatures in video games. Cree artist Kent Monkman appears as drag queen Miss Chief Share Eagle Testickle, while Anna Tsouhlarakis of Navajo/Greek heritage shows the video Lets Dance, which traces her steps as she attempts to learn Irish folk and Haitian voodoo-dance moves.
Oct. 6-April 27, 2007