What are you wearing? No…this isn’t the start of a creepy phone call. It’s actually a question related to the segment you are about to hear. Just…Bear with me for a minute.
Radio Chipstone is a new series curated by Art Historian gianofer fields. The focus is Material Culture which… is not the study of the history of objects but the study of history through objects.
So, what does this have to do with clothes and bears? Well, the objects, including clothing, up for discussion are currently on display on the UW-Madison Campus in the Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery in Nancy Nicholas Hall. The exhibit is entitled Intersections: Indigenous Textiles of the Americas. It is co-curated by indigenous scholars Kendra Greendeer and Dakota Mace. Greendeer is a PhD student in the Art History Department. Mace, a recent graduate of the Design Studies Department and practicing artist, photographed the textiles on display.
According to Mace, when they first proposed the ideal of the exhibit, they approached it in a way that a lot of other museums and galleries would display indigenous objects, categorizing them date, region or material. However, the students believe using traditional Western and European standards diminish the meaning behind each piece in the exhibition. So, they decided to start the exhibition by honoring their ancestors. They acknowledge their own history, elders and the people that came before them. Those who inspired them creatively, as well as the way weaving has transitioned within the last thousand years.
In part one, Greendeer and Mace share the intention of the exhibition with contributor gianofer fields. The conversation starts by first paying respect to and acknowledging the ancestors.
About the Host:
gianofer (JON nah fer) fields is an Art Historian and Material Culture contributor and curates the Radio Chipstone series. The project is hosted by the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and funded by the Chipstone Foundation; a decorative arts foundation whose mission is preserving and interpreting their collection, as well as stimulating research and education in the decorative arts.
About the Guests:
Dakota Mace is a Diné artist and scholar that focuses on abstracting Diné weaving practices as well as developing more dialogue on the appropriation of Indigenous design-work. Mace received her MA and MFA degrees in Photography and Textile Design at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her BFA in Photography from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her artistic work focuses on translating the language of Diné weaving history as well as beliefs through different mediums and techniques. She is currently Curator/Project Manager for Exhibition Planning, Planning Department, Madison Municipal Building, and Graphic Designer & Head Photographer for the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection.
Kendra Greendeer is a Ph.D. candidate in Art History at the the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a focus on contemporary Native women artists, the transformation of spaces, and decolonial museum practices. She is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. She is currently the Collections Manager for Little Eagle Arts Foundation in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, and was previously a Curatorial Resident at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. She earned her B.F.A. in Museum Studies from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and M.A. in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Image: Installation view of the exhibition Intersections: Indigenous Textiles of the Americas in the Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery at the School of Human Ecology, UW-Madison. Photograph © Andy Manis; shared by the Center for Design and Material Culture.
Featured music: A Tribe Called Red.
The exhibit will be on display until December 6, 2019 in Nancy Nicholas Hall on the UW-Madison campus (1300 Linden Drive).