REDCAT, the CalArts School of Art, and IndigenousArts@CalArts are pleased to welcome the editors, book designer, and artist contributors of the landmark anthology, An Indigenous Present, for an evening of conversation and celebration. Our Own Work, Our Own Audiences celebrates the release of An Indigenous Present (published by BIG NDN Press/DelMonico Books) which surveys an intergenerational field of Indigenous North American contemporary artists, musicians, filmmakers, choreographers, architects, writers, photographers, and designers whose work upends the conventions of the mainstream art world and non-Native publics by making work that embodies Indigenous ways of being and knowing.
Conceived by Jeffrey Gibson, a renowned artist and educator of Mississippi Choctaw and Cherokee descent, An Indigenous Present demonstrates what uncompromising, self-determined works of Indigenous expression can be. Grounded in community and committed to a diverse array of expression, the publication points to ways of making that Dakota scholar Phillip Deloria suggests symbolize “more than survival, more than resistance” but insist on a “continuity of wit, irony, fearlessness, endurance and future-forward possibility.”
This event will feature the co-editors Jeffrey Gibson and Jenelle Porter, book designer Sébastien Aubin, and contributors Elisa Harkins and Caroline Monnet. Spokane scholar and artist, Chad S. Hamill/ čnaq’ymi, Director of Indigenous Arts at CalArts, will lead a conversation exploring key themes from the book: humor, sound, land as material, and the body.
In his introduction to the book, Gibson notes this publication is “a gesture of the present, to the present, as a present.” It not only highlights an increasingly visible and expanding field of Indigenous creative practice, it cultivates an Indigenous futurity that is intergenerational, diverse and committed to self-representation and sovereignty.
WATCH LIVESTREAM Available Friday, November 17th, 7:30 PM PT
About the Panelists
Currently based in Montreal, Sébastien Aubin is a proud member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Manitoba. He is the owner of OTAMI- a design studio in Montreal and also Artist in Residence at Concordia University. His most recent solo exhibition was presented at the University of Manitoba, following a six-month creative residency at the Faculty of Arts. Aubin plays the dual role of artist and graphic designer. He has designed publications for numerous Canadian artists and institutions, including Jeffrey Gibson, Kent Monkman, Sonny Assu, Caroline Monnet, the National Film Board of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Remai Modern, Baltimore Museum of Art, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the McKenzie Art Gallery. He makes and studies Cree syllabics, which he incorporates into his personal artistic work. Drawing, music, animation, science, film and the use of found objects are all part of an approach that encourages dialogue between generations and social classes.
Jeffrey Gibson is a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and of Cherokee descent who currently lives and works near Hudson, NY. Gibson’s approach to art-making is defined by its hybrid and cosmopolitan nature, largely informed by his international upbringing in the U.S., Korea, and Germany. Recent solo exhibitions include This Burning World: Jeffrey Gibson (ICA San Francisco, 2022), Jeffrey Gibson: The Body Electric (SITE Santa Fe, 2022), Jeffrey Gibson: They Come From Fire (Portland Art Museum, 2022), Jeffrey Gibson: INFINITE INDIGENOUS QUEER LOVE (deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, 2022) and Jeffrey Gibson: Like A Hammer (Denver Art Museum, 2018). Gibson has been recognized with numerous awards, including a 2019 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and he is currently an artist-in-residence at Bard College. Gibson will represent the United States at La Biennale di Venezia, the 60th International Art Exhibition.
Elisa Harkins is a Native American (Cherokee/Muscogee) artist and composer based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her work is concerned with translation, language preservation, and Indigenous musicology. Harkins uses the Cherokee and Mvskoke languages, electronic music, sculpture, and the body as her tools. Harkins received a BA from Columbia College, Chicago and an MFA from CALARTS. She has since continued her education at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has exhibited her work at Crystal Bridges, documenta 14, The Hammer Museum, The Heard Museum, and Vancouver Art Gallery. She created an online Indigenous concert series called 6 Moons, and published a CD of Creek/Seminole Hymns. She is also the DJ of Mvhayv Radio, an Indigenous radio show on 91.1FM in Tulsa, OK and 99.1FM in Indianapolis, IN. Radio III / ᎦᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᏦᎢ is a dance performance that features music and choreography by Harkins. With support from PICA and Western Front, songs from the performance have been collected into a limited edition double-LP which can be found on Harkins’ Bandcamp. Harkins resides on the Muscogee (Creek) Reservation and is an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
Varoline Monnet (Anishinaabe/French) is a multidisciplinary artist from Outaouais, Quebec. She studied Sociology and Communication at the University of Ottawa (Canada) and the University of Granada (Spain) before pursuing a career in visual arts and film. Her work has been programmed internationally at the Whitney Biennial (NYC), Toronto Biennale of Art, KØS museum (Copenhagen), Museum of Contemporary Art (Montréal), the National Art Gallery (Ottawa). Solo exhibitions include Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Arsenal Contemporary (NYC) and Centre d’art international de Vassivière (France). Her films have been programmed at film festivals such as TIFF, Sundance, Aesthetica (UK), Palm Springs and Cannes. In 2016, she was selected for the Cinéfondation residency in Paris. Her work is included in numerous collections in North America as well as the permanent UNESCO collection in Paris. Monnet is recipient of the 2020 Pierre-Ayot award, the 2020 Sobey Art Award, the Merata Mita Fellowship, and the REVEAL Indigenous Art Awards. She is based in Montreal and represented by Blouin-Division Gallery.
Jenelle Porter is a curator and writer. Recent projects include An Indigenous Present, co-edited with Jeffrey Gibson (2023), and the exhibitions Barbara T. Smith: Proof, ICA LA (2023), Kay Sekimachi: Geometries, Berkeley Art Museum (2021), and Less Is a Bore: Maximalist Art & Design, Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (2019). She has held curatorial positions at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Artists Space, New York; Walker Art Center; and Whitney Museum of American Art.