Jeffrey Gibson in Shinnecock Monuments | Another Justice: Us is Them: Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY
As part of the exhibition, Another Justice: US is Them—Hank Willis Thomas | For Freedoms, on view at the Parrish Art Museum from July 23 to November 6, the Museum has activated the local Shinnecock Monuments throughout July, August, and September with digital billboards by Indigenous artists Jeremy Dennis (Shinnecock), Jeffrey Gibson (Mississippi Choctaw-Cherokee), Koyoltzintli Miranda-Rivadeneira (Ecuadorian, Chi’xi), and Marie Watt (Seneca).
The 62-foot-tall electronic billboards were erected by the Shinnecock along Sunrise Highway in 2019 to generate revenue for the Nation. Presenting the work of these artists on them is an effort to uplift Native voices and to model, on a small scale, the possibility for economic justice through creative investment. The four works on view invite the viewer to consider their own relationship to the land. In general, monuments serve as an extension of public civic spaces, signaling who we celebrate and which histories we collectively value. The activation of the Shinnecock Monuments in the context of this exhibition is an affirmation of these Indigenous voices through artist expression and civic discourse.
Works on the Shinnecock Monuments by Gibson, Miranda-Rivadeneira, and Watt are part of the recent Landback Public Art Initiative by For Freedoms, who asked over 20 Indigenous artists and allies the question “What does LANDBACK mean to you?”—inspiring reflections on the past and visions for the future. Artist responses, ranging from the literal to the imaginative, imposed this issue of Indigenous stewardship on the very land it addresses. Installed to coincide with Native American Heritage Month, the Landback initiative signified a convergence of Indigenous artists across tribal communities.
On September 30, the Parrish will present a public program with participating artists at the Museum.
JEFFREY GIBSON is an interdisciplinary artist and a member of the Choctaw and Cherokee nations. His artworks reference various aesthetic and material histories rooted in Indigenous cultures of the Americas, and in modern and contemporary subcultures. In 2019, he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. He is a faculty member at Bard College and is based in Hudson, NY.