Jessica Horton brings a wealth of contextual material and a compelling theoretical frame to her discussion of the influence of Native American history, culture, and politics on late twentieth-century American art.
Inuit artists such as Ashevak and Teevee have created works that celebrate local ecologies and multispecies relations, but also have offered significant portrayals of the disintegration of the ecological fabric and tattering of ecospiritual and ecosocial relations.
In the moments when I feel like I do not belong or that we are not doing enough to decolonize inherently colonial institutions such as museums and universities, I try to pause and think not only about the absurdity and seeming infeasibility of the project we have set for ourselves, but also these moments when the intangibility of our research materializes in practice.
Centering on T.C. Cannon as narrator of the exhibition, and decentralizing my curatorial voice as the authority, was an intentional strategy I employed to activate Cannon’s Native perspective and to build empathy with the audience.
Can an institution not only virtually reconnect the objects with their communities, but also create reciprocal relationships that will benefit the objects and the communities (both Indigenous and museum audiences alike)
How might technology restore the connections between the tangible and the intangible that text-based art-historical practices and their often singular focus on the visual have damaged or elided?
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017; 336 pp.; 10 b/w illus.; ISBN 978-0226298993; Hardcover: $30.00
Reviewed by: Emily Moore, Assistant Professor of Art History, Colorado State University
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