collaboration with:
Grace Rosario Perkins

“WE WERE HERE FIRST”

mixed media/installation

dimensions vary

Passage and Place

Alley Cat Books
San Francisco, CA

National Queer Arts Festival 2014

Using thread to document the current status of Indian land held in trust by the federal government and creating alternative visual tools to mark landless and displaced tribes through three dimensional forms, this cross-tribal collaboration intends to draw attention to the shifting planes of enclosure and extraction: the colonial division of space is no longer limited to land but expanded to the minerals and water beneath it as well as the skies above. Layering textile, sculpture, illustration and family photographs to embody these multi-scalar struggles, the installation contends with the complexity and interdependence of personal and collective experiences. A visual challenge to the joint projects of attempted Indigenous elimination and the carving up of space according to colonial whim, these textiles-as-cosmology refuse to separate our cultures of origin from site, acknowledging that our languages, ceremonies, and senses of self are bound up in the questions of displacement, migration, and home