Because Once You Enter My House It Becomes Our House

Artist Jeffrey Gibson photographed at Socrates Park, featuring his new installment for the parks summer exhibition, “Monuments Now” on June 6th, 2020.Photograph by Steven Molina Contreras for The New Yorker

If you’re anywhere near Long Island City this autumn, be sure to make the trip to Socrates Sculpture Park to visit Jeffrey Gibson’s colorful, multi-tiered sculpture Because Once You Enter My House It Becomes Our House. The sculpture will be on view through March of 2021.

Modeled after the architecture of the ancient metropolis of Cahokia, the largest city of the North American Indigenous Mississippian people at its height in the thirteenth century, Gibson’s monument is adorned with wheat-pasted posters integrating geometric designs inspired by the Serpent Mound located in Ohio, another monument of the Mississippi Valley. Texts on the work, meanwhile, operate as activist slogans.

Gibson has curated Indigenous led performances to activate the structure over the course of the installation. The series opened with a Native Land Acknowledgment by Indigenous Kinship Collective and a performance by violinist Laura Ortman (White Mountain Apache), which live-streamed on Instagram and Facebook. (Watch video below.)