Da-ka-xeen Mehner and I have interesting stories to tell. I think that our stories are very compelling and are about how to navigate the challenges we all encounter along the way. It's not so much about what happens, but how we all respond to the quirks we encounter. Life is certainly not predictable.
I would put forth the case that life is bewildering at best and illogically paradoxical at worst. Doesn't it seem that some of the things that happen in the world defy logic? Commander Spock would be totally appalled and order that he beamed back forthwith. It seems that we don't have that luxury, so we've just got to deal with it.
This is where things get interesting, because artists enter the fray and offer their take on what's going on. I like it that artists offer their interpretations of what's going on with the universe, because sometimes they're their take on things are right on target, and it isn't always so much about what is examined, as it is the visual manifestation of how they relate whatever is is that they've learned or experienced. This sometimes translates to images that speak to your life force instead of your intellect. In my opinion, it is what we artists do best.
Sometimes when I'm teaching I finish a session by asking if anyone has any questions about anything. If they're all quiet I say "Nothing? What about the meaning of life? Any takers?" Some of them smile, and I tell them that it's kind of a one-liner, kind of not, because if they get exceptionally well at what they're doing, insightfully examining life is exactly what they'll be doing with their art too.
I feel good about this exhibition and presentation for a few reasons. 1) It is at the C.N. Gorman Musuem, a place unique in the universe of museums in the world, run by Hulleah Tsihnahjinnie and Veronica Passalacqua. Sure, it's small, but it also offers viewers unique voices in the world of art. Please make this a regular stop when you're in the area. 2.) It is a two person exhibition with Da-ka-xeen Mehner and myself. We are connected by blood in the most direct manner possible in our Northwest tribe; you will witness what it means today in our contemporary world, especially in the midst of everything that is going on at this moment. Because you are experiencing a lot of these events yourself, it is relevant to you, regardless of your cultural background. 3). I am in the midst of making new work, and I hardly ever do exhibitions while in the middle of new work. I usually let the work "settle" a bit especially as new ones are constantly added. It's kind of a sneak preview of things over the horizon.
As a side note, I understand that the first game of the world series is on the same evening we're doing our talk. Wouldn't you know it? We do everything we can to plan for a good schedule, but something unexpected invariably intrudes on our plans. Record the game, have fun with it later and have fun with us in person. I hope to see you there.
*Keet Air is an inside joke, because Keet translates to Killer Whale, and we're both men of the Killer Whale Fin House, which is what the wing kind of looks like. Da-ka's son is also named Keet.
You are cordially invited, Wednesday, October 27th 6:00pm at the C.N. Gorman Museum.
Here is a link to place, map & time: C.N.Gorman Museum