Indian Theater: Native Performance, Art, and Self-Determination since 1969 is the first large-scale exhibition of its kind to center performance and theater as an origin point for the development of contemporary art by Native American, First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and Alaska Native artists, beginning with the role that Native artists have played in the self-determination era, sparked by the Occupation of Alcatraz by the Indians of All Tribes in 1969.
As part of the exhibition Jeffrey Gibson has created a performance titled Don't Make Me Over. An original collaborative performance by artist Jeffrey Gibson (Mississippi Band of Choctaw and Cherokee) with artist, author, and educator Arielle Twist (Nehiyaw [Cree]), a two-spirit trans woman, centered around the narratives and lines that course through the song “Don’t Make Me Over.”
Arielle Twist (Nehiyaw [Cree]), originally from George Gordon First Nation, is a trans woman who creates to reclaim and harness ancestral magic and memories. An author and multidisciplinary artist, her writing is widely published. Her debut collection, Disintegrate/Dissociate, won the Indigenous Voices Award for Published Poetry.
Following presentations of Emily Johnson’s performance work Being Future Being: Land / Celestial and Gibson’s Don’t Take Me Over, Johnson and Gibson will discuss their practice in relation to the exhibition. Moderated by Indigenous cultural thought leader and exhibition curator, Candice Hopkins (Carcross/Tagish First Nation).
Image: Arielle Twist, courtesy of the artist