Alan Michelson (b. 1953) has critically and poetically foregrounded Indigenous models of political, social, and environmental relationships for more than thirty years. A New York-based Mohawk member of Six Nations of the Grand River, Michelson draws upon historical memory and Indigenous philosophy to reveal and challenge disturbing colonial legacies. His methodically researched, site-based multimedia works uncover suppressed histories to envision more equitable relationships.
This exhibition, centered around Wolf Nation (2018), presents four works in video, sound, print, and augmented reality that investigate the layered histories of place through forms distilled from diverse sources such as wampum belts, moving panoramas, Indigenous horticulture, colonial maps, state historic markers, and scenic wallpaper. Each moving-image work is horizontal or circular in form, echoing Indigenous concepts of time and space: multi-perspectival and cyclical rather than singular and linear. By creating works that affirm Indigenous relationality and also survivance—a state of active presence and resistance—Michelson allows us to see the potent, parallel worldviews of Native cultures.
This exhibition includes two augmented reality works—one on Floor 5 and the other in the lobby.