THIS IS DISPLACEMENT: Native Artists Consider the Relationship Between Land & Identity is a visual exhibit from nineteen different tribal nations of Native American artists, curated by chorographer/artist Emily Johnson (Yup'ik) and artist/curator Carolyn Lee Anderson (Diné). The power of this exhibit lies in its purpose to probe concepts of displacement, which through its evolution, has fostered and brought together a larger community of inspired art and people.
Here's the evolution, at a glance:
1994: Johnson moves to Minneapolis from Alaska to attend the University of Minnesota
Oct 2009: The Thank-you Bar , Johnson's latest performance installation that interweaves music, film, stories, and dance to explore the meaning of home, premieres in Anchorage, Alaska, along with THIS IS DISPLACEMENT. The exhibit started off with 10 pieces, lovingly sought out and curated by Johnson and Anderson, and was originally only meant to accompany the premiere of The Thank-you Bar in Anchorage. After the first showing, Johnson and Anderson decided to tour the exhibit with the dance performance as a "companion piece." As Anderson says, "We also thought that the exhibit should be able to stand alone and receive its own funding and marketing strategies. Then the project began to snowball, and we decided that we also needed to create an exhibit catalog, and we especially needed to expand the exhibit."
March 2010: The Thank-you Bar and THIS IS DISPLACEMENT tour to Tulsa, Oklahoma for the Living Arts Center's New Genre Festival. When they arrived, they realized the space for the exhibit was much too large for only ten pieces. Steve Liggett, a local guy working for Living Arts, jumped in to save the day. He introduced the two to a group called oklaDADA, "a collective of Indian Artists networking and promoting Indigenous perspectives to create opportunities that give voice to Indian cultural identities."
Anderson and Johnson were thankful for the help and support they received. In Anderson's words: "Their artwork fit into the concept of our exhibit so perfectly ... I was in a state of awe as I saw the artwork that Emily and I had gathered, which was primarily Minnesota-based artists, merge with the artwork from Oklahoma."
After an inspiring collaboration in Tulsa, Johnson and Anderson made plans to incorporate some of these pieces from the short-term exhibit to live in the new, expanded version of THIS IS DISPLACEMENT.
Nov 18-20: Emily Johnson | Catalyst + BLACKFISH present The Thank-you Bar at 7:00 and 9:00 pm each night on the Northrop Stage.
Nov 18-20: THIS IS DISPLACEMENT: Native Artists Consider the Relationship Between Land & Identity exhibit open to general public. Open from 1:00 - 5:00 pm, plus one hour prior to The Thank-you Bar performances, in Room 307, Northrop Gold Room.
Nov 19: Artist-Curator Interview and Exhibit Tour at 3:00 pm in 125 Nolte Center.
Nov 19: BLACKFISH concert at 10:30 pm on the Northrop Stage.
And now, looking to the future (yes, we're that good)...
Jan 2011: THIS IS DISPLACEMENT will be exhibited at Plymouth Congregational Church
May 2011: THIS IS DISPLACEMENT will be at DiverseWorks in Houston, Texas.