How, Indeed

Once upon a pre-PC time it was considered okay -- even humorous -- to depict Native Americans as savages. In everything from cartoons to big-screen epics, Indians were feather-wearing warriors with plaited hair who began every discussion with the greeting “How!”

We’ve evolved. Today, the white man would never dream of hopping around in a circle, patting his mouth, and shouting “Woo woo woo woo woo!” Instead, we mostly just pretend that Indians don’t exist.

It’s a fact that distresses performance and installation artist James Luna. Toward that end, Luna has transformed a gallery into a mock museum dedicated to an apocryphal music career as a comment on the lack of Native presence in American pop culture.

The show, entitled “All Indian, All the Time,” has received solid notices for several months and is open.

Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Sept. 10. Continues through Jan. 9, 2010
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Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela