Dead River - 2009.
Video and living installation.
Video Stills, and Installation view of VIP lounge, Arizona State University Art Museum, Martha+Mary Gallery, Tempe, AZ
Dead River responds to the paternalistic and assimilationist institutional narrative of the Steele Indian School Park, which is intended to pay homage to the Phoenix Indian School (operated from 1891 to 1990). Postcommodity worked with Existence AD, a Phoenix- based Indian metal band, to develop a song that incorporates text from one of the park’s design features attributed as being the “Thoughts of an Ancient Indian Spirit.” The video of Existence AD performing this song is projected on a wall (12 ft. x 9 ft.) adjacent to the VIP lounge (22 ft. x 22 ft.) created for the band, their guests and select gallery visitors they allow into the space, which is partitioned from the rest of the exhibition space with stanchions. The work provides an intervention of cultural self-determination that re-contextualizes and decolonizes the park’s institutional narrative.