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Native America: In Translation

August 25 – December 1, 2023
USF Contemporary Art Museum

EXHIBITION HOURS + ADMISSION // Special Hours: August 25th 6:30-9pm. Normal Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-5pm; Thursday 10am-8pm; Saturday 1-4pm; Closed Sundays. Closed University Holidays: September 4th in observance of Labor Day; November 10th in observance of Veterans Day; and November 23rd – 25th for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Admission: All exhibitions and events are free and open to the public. 

“The ultimate form of decolonization is through how Native languages form a view of the world. These artists provide sharp perceptions, rooted in their cultures.” —Wendy Red Star

Native America: In Translation assembles the wide-ranging work of nine Indigenous artists who pose challenging questions about identity and heritage, land rights, and histories of colonialism. Probing the legacies of settler colonialism, and photography’s complex and often fraught role in constructing representation of Native cultures, the exhibition includes works by lens-based artists offering new perspectives on Indigenous identity, reimagining what it means to be a citizen in North America today.

Koyoltzintli, Spider Woman Embrace, Abiquiú, New Mexico, 2019, from the series MEDA, 2018/19. archival pigment print. 24 x 30 inches. Courtesy of the artist.

Koyoltzintli, Spider Woman Embrace, Abiquiú, New Mexico, 2019, from the series MEDA, 2018/19. archival pigment print. 24 x 30 inches. Courtesy of the artist. 

Works included in the exhibition address cultural and visual sovereignty by reclaiming Native American identity and representation. Honoring ancestral traditions and stories tied to the land, Koyoltzintli (Ecuadorian-American, b. 1983) reflects on how the landscape embodies traditional knowledge, language, and memories. Nalikutaar Jacqueline Cleveland’s (Yup’ik, b. 1979) photographs of contemporary tribal communities in western Alaska document Native foraging and cultural traditions as a form of knowledge passed through generations. Revealing stories of trauma and healing, Guadalupe Maravilla (American, b. El Salvador, 1976) communicates autobiographical and fictional narratives informed by myth and his own migration story. 

Expanding Indigenous archives and collective memory through photographic means, works by the late artist Kimowan Metchewais (Cree, Cold Lake First Nations, 1963–2011), drawn from his personal archive of Polaroid photographs, construct self-realized Native imagery challenging the authority of colonial representation. Excavating repressed colonial histories of invasion and eviction, Alan Michelson (Mohawk, Six Nations of the Grand River, b. 1953) reinterprets and repositions archival material to redress history from an Indigenous perspective. Marianne Nicolson’s (Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw First Nations, b. 1969) light-based installation projects Dzawada’enuxw tribal symbols of authority and power onto colonized spaces to contest treaties that imposed territorial boundaries on Indigenous lands. Duane Linklater (Omaskêko Ininiwak from Moose Cree First Nation, b. 1976) reconfigured the pages sourced from a 1995 issue of Aperture, featuring Indigenous artists, creating space for artistic improvisation and reinvention across generations.

Martine Gutierrez, Queer Rage, Dear Diary, No Signal During VH1’s Fiercest Divas, p72 from Indigenous Woman, 2018. digital chromogenic print. 42 x 28 inches. Courtesy of the artist and RYAN LEE Gallery, New York.

Martine Gutierrez, Queer Rage, Dear Diary, No Signal During VH1’s Fiercest Divas, p72 from Indigenous Woman, 2018. digital chromogenic print. 42 x 28 inches. Courtesy of the artist and RYAN LEE Gallery, New York.

Reflecting on performative aspects of Indigeneity and the colonial gaze, Martine Gutierrez’s (American, b. 1989) series of photographs reinterpret high-fashion magazine spreads with a revolving roster of identities and narratives to question Native gender and heritage. Working across performance and photography, Rebecca Belmore (Anishinaabe, Lac Seul First Nation, b. 1960) creates powerful reenactments of past performances incorporating organic materials that reference knowledge, labor, and care of the Earth in defiance of state violence of Indigenous people. 

Native America: In Translation is curated by Apsáalooke artist Wendy Red Star and expands on her role as guest editor of the Fall 2020 issue of Aperture magazine. The exhibition is organized by Aperture and is made possible, in part, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts. The USFCAM presentation of Native America: In Translation is supported in part by the Lee & Victor Leavengood Endowment; the USFCAM ACE (Art for Community Engagement) Fund Patrons; and the Florida Department of State, Florida Arts & Culture. Funding for this program was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

Rebecca Belmore, matriarch, 2018, from the series nindinawemaganidog (all of my relations). Photograph by Henri Robideau. Courtesy of the artist.

Rebecca Belmore, matriarch, 2018, from the series nindinawemaganidog (all of my relations). Photograph by Henri Robideau. Courtesy of the artist.

DOWNLOADS

Exhibition Press Release PDF

Exhibition Checklist PDF

 

PRESS

10/9/2023 - A Harvest of Art Openings - By Tony Wong Palms, Creative Pinellas

8/25/2023 - Wendy Red Star Introduces Kimowan Metchewais Through Indigenous Photography Exhibition - By Chadd Scott, Forbes

8/22/2023 - USF Contemporary Art Museum offers free Friday tour of new exhibit about Indigenous identity - Ray Roa, CLTampa.com

8/9/2023 - New USFCAM exhibition showcases work of nine Indigenous artists - Tampa Bay Newspapers

8/5/2023 - Tampa Bay August arts roundup: comic book art, comedy improv, a cupcake contest and much more - By Christopher Curry, 83degrees

 

VIRTUAL TOUR

Explore this virtual 360 degree interactive walkthrough of Native America: In Translation. For the best experience click the View Fullscreen icon in the lower right of the window. Virtual tour Courtesy of USF Access 3D Lab, Dr. Laura Harrison and Alex Fawbush.

 

EXHIBITION WALKTHROUGH

 

VIDEO REPLAY - Online Conversation

Replay of October 4, 2023 online discussion. Native America: In Translation Curator Wendy Red Star and artists Marianne Nicolson and Koyoltzintli discuss concepts and approaches to Indigenous visual sovereignty in reclaiming cultural identity. Moderated by USF Curator of Social Practice Sarah Howard.

 

VIDEO REPLAY - What Remains: Listening to Indigenous Perspectives Forum

Replay of November 4, 2023 Forum What Remains: Listening to Indigenous Perspectives. This forum gathered the voices of an Indigenous artist, tribal cultural preservationist, and Native American civil rights and environmental advocates in dialogue with an expert in the field of anthropology to explore ways of restoring and expanding Indigenous cultural agency and honoring tribal heritage and ecological knowledge.

Panelists included Reverend Houston Cypress, poet, artist, and founder of Love the Everglades environmental movement, from the Otter Clan of the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida; Betty Osceola, a Native American Everglades educator, conservationist, clean water advocate, and member of the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida from the Panther clan; Dr. Thomas Pluckhahn, USF Professor of Anthropology; and Robert Rosa, chairman of the Florida Indigenous Alliance and member of the central Florida division of the American Indian Movement. Moderated by USF Curator of Social Practice Sarah Howard.

 

FREE POSTER
poster image


A free double-sided poster featuring the work of Martine Gutierrez, with exhibition information on the reverse, will be available to museum visitors while supplies last.

 

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