The UNM Department of Theatre and Dance, IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Art (MoCNA), and the New Mexico Museum of Art present Decolonial Gestures : A Symposium on Indigenous Performance. This two-day symposium will consist of performances, workshops, a film screening, and a roundtable discussion. The program includes a screening of Through the Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film at the St. Francis auditorium in New Mexico Museum of Art followed by a conversation with Raven Chacon (Diné), Cristóbal Martínez (Mexica), Kade L. Twist (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma) of Postcommodity.
The film, directed by Sam Wainwright Douglas, follows art collective Postcommodity as they strive to construct Repellent Fence, a two-mile long outdoor artwork that straddles the U.S.-Mexico border. Postcommodity consists of three Native American artists who “put land art in a tribal context.” Aided by the communities on both sides of the border in 2015 the artists installed a series of 28 huge inflatable spheres emblazoned with an insignia known as the “open eye” that has existed in Indigenous cultures from South America to Canada for thousands of years. The spheres were evenly spaced apart and extended north and south of the border a mile in each direction. “It’s a metaphorical suture stitching together cultures that have inhabited these lands long before borders were drawn.”
The film provides an intimate glimpse into the arduous process behind creating an ambitious artwork that will give voice to the shared history and enduring culture of Indigenous societies that have made the region their home for thousands of years before a border ever divided it. Woven throughout this narrative thread are lush scenes using stunning cinematography to absorb viewers into striking land art environments that have preceded Post Commodity’s work. Scenes with other artists and intellectuals working in the land art realm provide context and insight as well. These include scenes with Chris Taylor of Texas Tech University’s Land Arts of the American West program, writer Lucy Lippard and Matt Coolidge of the Center for Land Use Interpretation.
THROUGH THE REPELLENT FENCE is an adventure in the artistic process blended with a road trip of discovery visiting sites and diverse perspectives to explore how land art can generate community interaction and perceptual shifts in how we interpret, engage and draw inspiration from our natural world.
COMPLETE SYMPOSIUM PROGRAM
Friday, May 5 | Santa Fe
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM | Workshops |IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts | 108 Cathedral Place, Santa Fe
6:00 PM | Film Screening | Through the Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film. Directed by Sam Wainwright Douglas (74 min.) | St. Francis Auditorium |New Mexico Museum of Art | Followed by a post-screening discussion with the Postcommodity members Raven Chacon (Diné), Cristóbal Martínez (Mexica), Kade L. Twist (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma).
Saturday, May 6 | Albuquerque
All Saturday events will take place in the UNM Center for the Arts, which is located directly north of the UNM Bookstore (one block north of Central) at Cornell and Redondo Drive.
9:15 AM – 4:30 PM | Workshops
9:15 AM – 10:45 AM | The Art of Indigenous Storytelling with Ty Defoe (Oneida/Ojibwe)
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM | Roundtable | UNM Art Museum | Discussion of indigenous performance with Gloria Miguel (Kuna/Rappahannock), Rhiana Yazzie (Diné), Ty Defoe (Oneida/Ojibwe), Reed Adair Bobroff (Diné), Raven Chacon (Diné), Cristóbal Martínez (Mexica), and Kade L. Twist (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma).
6:00 PM | Prayer Invocation & Reception | CFA Lobby
7:00 PM | Performance| New Songs, Old Traditions
Reed Adair Bobroff (Diné) | Rodey Theatre
8:00 PM | Performance | Guillermo Gómez-Peña: The Most (un) Documented Mexican Artist
Guillermo Gómez-Peña with cameo by Balitronica Gómez | Rodey Theatre
In this latest solo work, “El border brujo” draws from his 30-year-old living archive and combines new and classic performance material to present a unique perspective on the immediate future of the Americas. His self-styled “imaginary activism” invokes performance art as a form of radical democracy and citizenship.
All events are free and open to the public. Reservations and more information at https://www.decolonialgestures.com