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Demian DinéYazhi´

A photo of R.I.S.E.
A photo of R.I.S.E.

Due to the process-based nature of the Session program, this project will undergo constant modifications; the features of this page provide accruing information on the project’s developments.

January 3–February 9, 2019

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On January 3, Demian DinéYazhi´ and R.I.S.E. (Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment) will begin R.I.S.E.: COLLECTIVE FURY a project that will explore how outrage and anger can be mobilized not as tools of division, but as a means to solidarity and empowerment. Through a series of performances, artworks, workshops, and talks, R.I.S.E.: COLLECTIVE FURY will seek to amplify the work of hyper-marginalized Indigenous artists and challenge the exclusion of Indigenous narratives, histories, and communities throughout the ancestral lands of their respective tribes.

Throughout this Session, R.I.S.E.: COLLECTIVE FURY will function as equal part event space, exhibition site, and infoshop presenting work focused on the interwoven political and artistic urgencies of Indigenous Queer and Two Spirit communities (IQ2S) including Indigenous Feminisms and Matriarchal empowerment, Decolonization and Indigenous Sovereignty, Anti-fascism, and environmental justice. At work in DinéYazhi’s project is a concern for the routine and ubiquitous ways in which the outrage and emotions of communities of color are policed, with often violent ends, and the implications of whose anger we choose to hold space. Through R.I.S.E.: COLLECTIVE FURY, DinéYazhi´ and R.I.S.E., will stage the ways that Indigenous communities shape spaces of collective fury that ultimately yield forms of healing and resilience.

Session invites artists to use Recess’s public platform to combine productive studio space with dynamic exhibition opportunities. Sessions remain open to the public from the first day of the artist’s project through the last, encouraging sustained dialogue between artists and audiences. Due to the process-based nature of Session, projects undergo constant revision and the above proposal is subject to change.

About the artist

Demian DinéYazhi´

Demian DinéYazhi´ (born 1983) is an Indigenous Diné transdisciplinary artist born to the clans Naasht’ézhí Tábąąhá (Zuni Clan Water’s Edge) & Tódích’íí’nii (Bitter Water). Growing up in the colonized border town of Gallup, New Mexico, the evolution of DinéYazhi´’s work has been influenced by their ancestral ties to traditional Diné culture and ceremony, matrilineal upbringing, the sacredness of land, and the importance of intergenerational knowledge. Through research, mining community archives, and social collaboration and activism, DinéYazhi´ highlights the intersections of Radical Indigenous Queer Feminist identity and political ideology while challenging the white noise of the contemporary art movement. They have recently exhibited at Whitney Museum of American Art (2018), Henry Art Gallery (2018), Pioneer Works (2018), CANADA, NY (2017); and Cooley Gallery (2017). DinéYazhi´ is the founder of the Indigenous artist/activist initiative, R.I.S.E.: Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment. They are the recipient of the Henry Art Museum’s Brink Award (2017), Hallie Ford Fellow in the Visual Arts (2018), and Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellow (2019).

Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment (R.I.S.E.) is an Indigenous initiative dedicated to Indigenous issues of Decolonization, Survivance, prison abolition, dismantling white supremacy and heteropatriarchal structures, supporting the evolution of Indigenous cultures and traditions, and amplifying the voices of Queer, Trans, Gender Gradient/Non-Conforming, Two Spirit, and Matriarchal communities. R.I.S.E. fosters community through the reclamation of identity, awareness as resistance, and by continually supporting Indigenous communities. R.I.S.E. is a collective presence of Indigenous ancestors. R.I.S.E. is a collective resistance created, nurtured, and led by Indigenous peoples.


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