Monday, August 22, 2022

Nicholas Galanin/Yéil Ya-Tseen, Never Forget, March 12 - May 16, 2021, Desert X, Palm Springs, Minor Matter Books, 2021

the accordion's slip cover

This accordion comes out of an ongoing series of works commissioned by Desert X, a non-profit organization based in Palm Springs that since 2017 has been dedicated to producing exhibitions "...that activate desert locations through site-specific installations by acclaimed international artists". This publication acknowledges the Calhuilla People as the original stewards of the land on which the work was installed, and I'd also like to acknowledge the place that I am writing this piece in Madison, Wisconsin as the ancestral home of the Ho-Chunk Nation.

Accompanied with texts by four contributors, this documentation of Galanin's Indian Land sign plays with the similarly sized sign 100 miles to the west in the Hollywood hills, and subtly deconstructs all the myths that are intertwined in this original sign, the history of the theft of indigenous lands, and Hollywood's cinematic creation of the 'Indian' myth by this industry.

This powerful accordion is both documentation of the work, as well as a printed matter work in itself, and it eloquently insists on a deeper look & understanding of the historic dispossession of indigenous lands over the course of this country's history.

Merritt Johnson in her text about this work states, "....Never Forget is an invitation to participate, to insist on the work needed to ensure Indigenous knowledge determines our interactions with Land, to ensure Indigenous people are compensated for that knowledge, and to ensure reparations are paid to Indigenous people for over five hundred years of forced removal and theft of access to Land and water."

For further information about this work and a video of Galanin talking about his installation see: Desert X | Nicholas Galanin

22 double-sided pages, individually 11" x 8", and when fully open 7' 4".

accordion cover with embossed title on the front and the back

reverse side of accordion

back cover of accordion

back of slip cover

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