In times like this, it could be argued that a redefinition of our cultures is sorely needed. And a new exhibit curated by filmmaker, activist and Longhouse Media founder Tracy Rector, Choctaw/Seminole, is launching just such an initiative at a Seattle gallery named, aptly, Re:definition.
Launched in 2016, Re:definition aims to redefine historic cultural space and highlight issues of race and social justice, both locally and globally, the gallery says in a statement.
"With this mission in mind, STG transformed the Paramount Theatre’s lobby bar into an art gallery, offering a different artistic mission annually to be expressed in rotating exhibits throughout the year. The mission for 2016 was Illuminating Black Art in Seattle with exhibits curated by Tariqa Waters and Jonathan Moore. Featured artists included Jazz Brown, Jodi-Ann Burey, Ari Glass, Aramis O. Hamer, and Christopher Shaw."
The mission for 2017 is all indigenous, and the party begins tonight, January 19, at the Paramount Theater Art Gallery.
"The first exhibit will feature the works of Kalen Goodluck and Adam Sings In The Timber and will run from January 19 until May 24, 2017," Paramount says. "The exhibit launch party, which will also feature a pop-up installation by John Feodorov in support of #NODAPL & The Water Protector Legal Collective, takes place on January 19 at 7pm in the Paramount Gallery and Lobby. The party is free and open to the public."
“The pervasive colonizer mentality of writing and re-writing history, to serve the needs of those in power, is a symptom of "dis-ease" that impacts our global body,” says Rector in the gallery statement. “As an act of healing, now is the time to decolonize false narratives, spaces and our minds. Re:definition gives us the opportunity to collectively imagine an Indigenous centered future, engineer interwoven fantasies, and carves out a space for Indigenous people to feel acknowledged with honesty, beauty and truth.”
Those who would like to attend the opening can RSVP here.
Goodluck has interviewed Yankton Sioux water protector Faith Spotted Eagle for Indian Country Media Network, as well as Billy Mills and Oren Lyons.
"Tradition clings to life in my desert," says Goodluck. "Stories clutch to the heart; some are told in spaces of quiet serenity, tucked away and safeguarded, told when appropriate. Decolonization is not about going back to the past, but preserving known cultures and moving forward. Practicing indigenous traditions and stories are at the core of new imaginings. They offer new futures. Documenting and reporting these movements that hold water as a core piece of identity offer vision to these worlds so that others may witness them as well. The land may be harsh, but those who survive care for it."
Goodluck comes from the Diné (Navajo), Mandan, Hidatsa and Tsimshian tribes and is a tribal member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota. His photographs below are portraits of his grandmother Teller, father Kevin Goodluck and brother Forrest Goodluck.