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Carry a Song / Disrupt an Anthem

Nicholas Galanin works from his experience as a Tlingit and Unangax̂ artist, simultaneously exploring his Indigenous identity and contemporary art practice. With a keen observation of past and present, Galanin exposes intentionally obscured collective memory and barriers to the acquisition of knowledge while celebrating the resilience and strength of Indigenous people and their culture. As Galanin says, the exhibition’s title, Carry a Song / Disrupt an Anthem implies that "to carry the songs of Indigenous people, to carry the songs of the land, is inherently disruptive of the national anthem." Expressing his art through sculpture, installation, photography, video, performance, and textile-based work, Galanin asserts cultural, political, and creative sovereignty for Indigenous people.

In White Noise, American Prayer Rug, a version of which was exhibited at the 2019 Whitney Biennial in New York, a woven image of static on a television set offers a critical analysis of American culture. He comments on its relationship with white noise used to drown out unwanted sounds and mask alternative voices. In The Imaginary Indian (Totem Pole), Galanin juxtaposes the form of a carved totem overlaid with Victorian Era floral designs. The installation both confronts viewers with their assumptions about Indigenous art while simultaneously reflecting on the attempted assimilation of the culture by Europeans. Galanin’s contemporary practice builds upon an Indigenous artistic continuum and responsibility to the land, thereby contributing urgent criticality and vision through resonant and layered works.

Nicholas Galanin (b. 1979) lives and works with his family in Sitka, Alaska. He earned his BFA at London Guildhall University (2003), his MFA at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand (2007), and he has apprenticed with master carvers and jewelers. Galanin participated in the Venice Biennale (2017) in the Native American Pavilion, in the Whitney Biennial (2019), and the Honolulu Biennial (2019). He has been invited to participate in the Biennale of Sydney (2020). Galanin’s work is in permanent collections such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the Denver Art Museum, the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts, the Princeton University Art Museum, the Portland Art Museum, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Anchorage Museum, the Nevada Museum of Art, and the Humboldt Forum in Berlin, among others.

Carry a Song / Disrupt an Anthem is the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York and it follows his acclaimed participation in the 2019 Whitney Biennial.

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Date

Jan 24 - Mar 28, 2020

Contact

art@peterblumgallery.com >

Photos

Installation view of Carry a Song / Disrupt an Anthem

Peter Blum Gallery, New York

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Installation view of Carry a Song / Disrupt an Anthem

Peter Blum Gallery, New York

Artworks

Nicholas Galanin > <

Architecture of return, escape (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

White Noise, American Prayer Rug

Everything We’ve Ever Been, Everything We Are Right Now - Below

Everything We’ve Ever Been, Everything We Are Right Now - North

Everything We’ve Ever Been, Everything We Are Right Now - South

Land Swipe

Let Them Enter Dancing and Showing Their Faces: Descendant

Let Them Enter Dancing and Showing Their Faces: Guwakaan

Let Them Enter Dancing and Showing Their Faces: Mouse

Let Them Enter Dancing and Showing Their Faces: Shaman

Let Them Enter Dancing and Showing Their Faces: Sister

Let Them Enter Dancing and Showing Their Faces: Thief

The Imaginary Indian (Totem Pole)

Kill the Indian, Save the Man

Kill the Indian, Save the Woman

Indian Children’s Bracelet

Ism No. 1

Things Are Looking Native, Native’s Looking Whiter

Nicholas Galanin > <

Architecture of return, escape (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

White Noise, American Prayer Rug

Everything We’ve Ever Been, Everything We Are Right Now - Below

Everything We’ve Ever Been, Everything We Are Right Now - North

Everything We’ve Ever Been, Everything We Are Right Now - South

Land Swipe

Let Them Enter Dancing and Showing Their Faces: Descendant

Let Them Enter Dancing and Showing Their Faces: Guwakaan

Let Them Enter Dancing and Showing Their Faces: Mouse

Let Them Enter Dancing and Showing Their Faces: Shaman

Let Them Enter Dancing and Showing Their Faces: Sister

Let Them Enter Dancing and Showing Their Faces: Thief

The Imaginary Indian (Totem Pole)

Kill the Indian, Save the Man

Kill the Indian, Save the Woman

Indian Children’s Bracelet

Ism No. 1

Things Are Looking Native, Native’s Looking Whiter

Artists