By Eisa Ulen
The 19-year-old Navajo artist depicted compelling images of human torsos topped with skeletal heads, which offer ominous warnings about an entire nation’s future. Made with granulated sugar and marked with Xs in place of eyes and mouths and even heart, these chests and skulls suggest that excessive sucrose is a frightening agent of death. The images of blinded and muted Navajos sound an alarm from the grave: overconsumption of sugar is killing the people.
Photographs of everyday Navajo people are covered by heaps of sugar that overwhelm them, symbolizing the burden of sugar addiction, the weight of obesity and the gravity of the diabetes epidemic in Indian country. Words scroll across the video, including the line, “One after another, this monster ate away their faces.”
View a video of her multimedia installation here or on YouTube.