Conversation with artist Naomi Bebo (Menominee and Ho-Chunk Nations), artist Andrea Carlson (Ojibwe Nation), and curator Candice Hopkins (Tlingit Nation); co-moderated by Jenny Davis, Chancellor’s Fellow of Indigenous Research & Ethics and Assistant Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies; and Amy L. Powell, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.
Naomi Bebo (Ho-Chunk/Menominee) is an artist and environmental lawyer based in Arizona. In her sculpture, Bebo applies beads and other attachments to gas masks, which tell stories that include histories of uranium mining and refining that disproportionately contaminate Native American lands to question what we will make of our collective future. Her work is on view in the exhibition Hot Spots: Radioactivity and the Landscape at Krannert Art Museum.
Andrea Carlson (Grand Portage) makes large-scale paintings and drawings that interrogate entangled cultural and historical narratives alongside museums’ institutional authority to possess and display objects. She researches indigenous futurisms, traditional storytelling, and assimilation metaphors in film, incorporating all of these elements into her complex drawings and installations.
Candice Hopkins (Carcross/Tagish) is a curator and writer. Hopkins is Senior Curator of the 2019 Toronto Biennial of Art and was part of the curatorial team of the Canadian Pavilion of the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019. She is co-curator of notable exhibitions including Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now, the 2018 SITE Santa Fe biennial Casa Tomada; documena 14 in Athens and Kassel; Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art; Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years; and the 2014 SITElines biennial Unsettled Landscapes.
Image -- Naomi Bebo, Woodland Child in Gas Mask, 2015. Mixed Media. Photo by Jason S. Ordaz, Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA). Courtesy of the artist ©️ Naomi Bebo