By Konnie LeMayJohnson’s “performance installations,” which she has performed before audiences throughout the United States and in Canada and Russia, are energetic and intelligent, combining storytelling, video, movement and music. In The Thank-you Bar, touring this year, performers create a sense of space by seating audiences on stage and performing around them. The program is coupled with an exhibition curated by Johnson and Carolyn Lee Anderson, a Diné visual artist. This is Displacement: Native Artists Consider the Relationship Between Land and Identity features written and visual arts by 46 artists from 19 tribal nations.
The Thank-you Bar invokes the longing for home that Johnson finds is universal. Its title refers to a place from her own youth: Her grandmother’s Que-Ana Bar. The Yup’ik word for “thank you” is quyana.Comment: For more on the subject, see Yup'ik Swan Lake and Symphony Incorporates Yup'ik Dance Song.