* Wolf Nation
Alan Michelson: Wolf Nation presents four works in video, sound, print, and augmented reality that invoke place from an Indigenous perspective. New York based artist Michelson ((Mohawk, b. 1953) traverses local landscapes and temporalities in his art, treating geographical sites as archives and exploring territory typically bypassed in American history and largely absent from American memory.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is Wolf Nation (2018), an immersive video installation recently acquired for the Whitney’s permanent collection. Originally commissioned by Storm King Art Center, Wolf Nation transforms webcam footage of red wolves, a critically endangered indigenous species, into a poignant meditation on displacement.
“American landscape is complicated when you’re Indigenous. For example, this year is the 240th anniversary of the Sullivan-Clinton Expedition, George Washington’s brutal invasion and destruction of Iroquoia, the Haudenosaunee homelands which now comprise most of New York state. Sixty of our towns, and hundreds of our houses, farms, crops, orchards, and livestock were burned and pillaged in a scorched-earth campaign that forced our people from their lands as homeless refugees. This is only one of the tragic but unacknowledged legacies that underpin our contemporary landscape. That history needs to be confronted.”
Whitney: Alan Michelson - Wolf Nation
is on show from October 25, 2019 through January 12, 2020
Alan Michelson with Steven Fragale,
Sapponckanikan (Tobacco Field), 2019.
Collection of the artist
© Alan Michelson