We Ask Lead­ing Mu­seum Cu­ra­tors About What’s Go­ing On In Their World

Native American Art - - CURATOR CHAT - Erin Joyce Fine Arts Cu­ra­tor Heard Mu­seum Phoenix, AZ, (918) 596-2700 www.heard.org

What ex­hi­bi­tions are you cur­rently work­ing on?

I feel like I al­ways have mul­ti­ple projects go­ing on at once—a good prob­lem to have! I just com­pleted a ma­jor pub­lic art in­stal­la­tion at the mu­seum with Cheyenne Ran­dall. We in­stalled six mon­u­men­tally sized wheat­paste mu­rals on our cam­pus of Au­drey Hep­burn, Bar­bara Streisand, Paul New­man, Elvis and oth­ers, all tat­tooed in Pho­to­shop then blown up to a large scale. My next project for the Heard is a mid­ca­reer mono­graph of Ni­cholas Galanin, which will fea­ture more than 12 years, and 10,000 square feet of work by the artist. Works on view will in­clude video, in­stal­la­tion, fash­ion, per­for­mance art, works on pa­per and much more—in to­tal about 50 ob­jects are in­cluded in the ex­hi­bi­tion. Dear Lis­tener opens May 4 and will be ac­com­pa­nied by an open­ing-night con­cert called Not a Block Party, fea­tur­ing Shabazz Palaces, In­dian Agent and Hee­bie Jee­bies with MC Dap­per Dre.

Will be an ex­cit­ing night of art and mu­sic—an en­er­getic syzygy.

Name an in­ter­est­ing mu­seum ex­hibit, gallery open­ing or work of art you’ve seen re­cently.

I was re­cently cu­rat­ing an ex­hi­bi­tion in New Haven, and gave a talk on colo­nial­ism at Yale Cen­ter for Bri­tish Art—they had on view Things of Beauty Grow­ing: Bri­tish Stu­dio Pot­tery, cu­rated by Martina Droth, Glenn Adam­son and Si­mon Old­ing, which fo­cused on stu­dio pot­tery from the early-20th cen­tury to now. It was a mas­sive show—and fea­tured some stun­ning works, one in par­tic­u­lar by Hal­ima Cas­sell was mind-blow­ing. The artist sourced clay from var­i­ous parts of the globe, from France, to Pak­istan, the United States and Cuba to name a few—each ves­sel a dif­fer­ent earthen shade of clay—it was this beau­ti­ful com­men­tary on di­ver­sity and in­ter­sec­tion­al­ity.

What event (gallery show, mu­seum ex­hi­bi­tion, etc.) in the next few months are you look­ing for­ward to, and why?

I am highly an­tic­i­pat­ing the ret­ro­spec­tive on Jef­frey Gib­son at Den­ver Art Mu­seum that opens in May. Jeff’s work is ex­quis­ite, provoca­tive and ar­rest­ing. I can­not wait to see such a large and thought­ful con­cen­tra­tion of his prac­tice. I also am re­ally look­ing for­ward to the Cos­tume In­sti­tute at the Metropoli­tan Mu­seum of Art’s show Heav­enly Bod­ies: Fash­ion and the Catholic Imag­i­na­tion, which pairs gar­ments with re­li­gious works from the Met col­lec­tion— which will be on view in the Anna Win­tour Cos­tume Cen­ter.

What is your dream ex­hi­bi­tion to cu­rate? Or see some­one else cu­rate?

I have many dream ex­hi­bi­tions I want to cu­rate…my fo­cus as a cu­ra­tor has been and is on con­tem­po­rary In­dige­nous North Amer­i­can art, as well as con­tem­po­rary Mid­dle East­ern and North African art, that leads to sub­texts of the im­pacts of colo­nial­ism, di­as­pora, tribal mi­gra­tions and iden­tity. That be­ing said, I am quite in­ter­ested in in­ter­sec­tion­al­ity. I want to see how we can cre­ate con­duits of un­der­stand­ing be­tween dif­fer­ent cul­tural groups—look at anal­o­gous is­sues that groups are fac­ing, and also look at dif­fer­ence. My cu­ra­to­rial work is fo­cused on so­cial jus­tice, so­cial com­men­tary and ac­tivism, us­ing art as a ve­hi­cle for change by creat­ing dis­cur­sive con­ver­sa­tions in many parts.

Give us a few of your fa­vorite Na­tive artists.

Oh my, there are so many fan­tas­tic artists out there work­ing to­day; some that I have had the priv­i­lege of work­ing with are Natalie Ball, Raven Cha­con, Post­com­mod­ity, Can­nupa Han­ska Luger, Dana Clax­ton and oth­ers whose work I ad­mire such as Marie Watt, Wendy Red Star…i love what Demian Dinéyahzi’ is do­ing, and Gin­ger Dun­nill who runs Bro­ken Boxes Pod­cast, her work is dope. There is this amaz­ing mo­men­tum oc­cur­ring right now, is re­ally ex­cit­ing to wit­ness and be par­tic­i­pant to.

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