August 05, 2007

Native art without reservations

Traveling shows, overlapping geographyGallantly true to its theme, the exhibit does not give the artists' tribal affiliations. However, the "without reservations" part of it is not especially convincing, as many of these artworks are immediately identifiable as coming from Indian country. Native artists' explosive anger, sardonic social commentary and shooting-fish-in-the-barrel iconography are all over this exhibit, from a faux-Monopoly board game called "Ethnopoly" to a blanket imprinted with food commodity logos with Lone Star beer bottles standing on it, to the self-explanatory and hilarious "Bingo Sheet Kachina," to the rather obvious box by David Bradley called "Land O Bucks, Land O Fakes, Land O Lakes."

If that's not enough of the sardonic style, Doug Coffin's "Cigar Store Indian" features a face as a television screen showing old cowboy movies, among other things. Or David Neel's "International Mask of Commerce," which has bank notes threaded into the mask.

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