Multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson (b. 1972, Colorado Springs, CO) will be the artist-in-residence for the Department of Education and Public Engagement’s Winter/Spring R&D Season: INHERITANCE. Gibson’s exhibition will explore the material histories and futures of several Indigenous handcraft techniques and aesthetics, including Southeastern river cane basket weaving, Algonquian birch bark biting, and porcupine quillwork, as practiced by many tribes across this land long before European settlers arrived. The title “The Anthropophagic Effect” alludes to Oswald de Andrade’s legendary 1928 Anthropophagic Manifesto, which argued that indigenous communities could devour colonizers’ culture as a way of rejecting domination and radically transforming Western culture to their own ends. Gibson notes that Indigenous crafts and designs have “historically been used to signify identity, tell stories, describe place, and mark cultural specificity,” explaining, “I engage materials and techniques as strategies to describe a contemporary narrative that addresses the past in order to place oneself in the present and to begin new potential trajectories for the future.” Employing techniques learned over the course of the residency, Gibson will produce a new series of garments that will be activated through performances and staged photo shoots in the Fifth Floor Gallery.
This exhibition is curated by Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement, and Sara O’Keeffe, Associate Curator, with Kate Wiener, Curatorial Assistant.