Larger Than Memory
A Digital Experience
Larger Than Memory: Contemporary Art From Indigenous North America presents works by contemporary artists working across the United States and Canada. Focusing on the two decades of 2000 to 2020, the exhibition highlights the significant contributions that Indigenous artists have made, and continue to make, by addressing critical dialogues taking place globally, engaging with challenging mediums and modes of production, and expressing a continuum of their respective cultural heritages while often entering into conversation with and revising the canon of art history.
The title of this exhibition is drawn, with permission, from Joy Harjo’s poem Grace, which contains the lines, ”I know there is something larger than the memory of a dispossessed people. We have seen it.” This verse spoke to our intention for this exhibition, which is to present outstanding work by Indigenous artists while creating an opportunity for reckoning with the marginalization and misrepresentation of Indigenous people within the field of contemporary art.
Works in the exhibition address complex themes: the human impact on the environment, race, gender, equality, the importance of Indigenous sovereignty, and the impact and ramifications of colonization. Colonialism-the domination of one culture over another-had various manifestations in North America, including the forcible seizure of Indigenous lands, the involuntary relocation of Indigenous peoples, their forced assimilation into a dominant culture, ethnocide and even genocide.
With each work featured in the exhibition, we ask our viewers to make room for new ideas and ways of thinking about contemporary art from Indigenous North America.
I know there is something larger than the memory
of a dispossessed people. We have seen it.
Excerpt from “Grace” from the book In Mad Love and War ©1990 by Joy Harjo.
Published by Wesleyan University Press and reprinted with permission.
Drs. William G. & Kathleen L. Howard
Sharron & Delbert Lewis
Arizona Commission on the Arts
Hotel Valley Ho
Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture
GRAND GALLERY EXHIBITION FUND SUPPORTERS
Mary & Mark B. Bonsall
Richard & Ann Carr
Lili Chester, In Memory of Sheldon Chester
Dino J. & Elizabeth Murfee DeConcini
Lillie S. Fletcher, In Honor of Sharron Lewis
Judith & Stanley Getch
H. Malcolm & Lainie Grimmer
Dr. Marigold Linton & Dr. Robert Barnhill
Kristine & Leland W. Peterson
Sacks Tierney P.A.
Salmon, Lewis & Weldon, PLC
Margo & John Simons
Carolyn & John G. Stuart
In Memory of Betty Lou Summers
GRAND GALLERY EXHIBITION FUND
Karen & Donald Abraham
Arlene & Giora Ben-Horin
Carol J. Cohen
Peter Fine & Rebecca Ailes-Fine
Dr. Meryl Haber
Jim & Patience Huntwork
Ann Kaplan & Robert Fippinger
Wan Kyun Rha Kim & Andrew Byong Soo Kim
The Lester Family
Jane & Steve Marmon
Janet & John Melamed
Susan & James Navran
Priscilla & Michael Nicholas
Rose & Harry Papp
Merle & Steve Rosskam
Bill & Judy Schubert
Christy Vezolles & Gil Waldman
In addition to generous loans by many of the artists, we would like to thank the following:
Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver
Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art Garth Greenan Gallery, New York
IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation
Musee des beaux-arts de Montreal
Musee national de beaux arts du Quebec
Sikkema Jenkins, Co., New York
Video courtesy of Steven Yazzie | Digital Preserve
Gallery photography courtesy of Platt Photography and Craig Smith, Heard Museum