The Feast

For this educational intervention, visitors were invited to partake in a feast designed to educate, bring awareness to and spark dialogue surrounding issues affecting Indian Country historically and presently. Individual tribes and their histories were represented on hand-stippled styrofoam plates with corresponding placemats. Participants learned about the diversity among the 566+ federally recognized tribes existing within the United States today.  Topics examined in the piece include the destruction of Native society, culture, language, and lifeways and the loss of land through acts of removal and relocation to reservations. Because food is connected to land, this history is directly related to the current food situation which causes health problems among American Indians. The piece aims to promote an Indigenous worldview based on community, reciprocity and respect.

Participants had to "relocate" to a food table serving commodity-like foods on a quilted tablecloth made of nutrition information labels. A brown paper sack containing an artist statement and a healthier, traditionally-based food item made by a Native-owned company was given to participants.  

Project hosted by Charlotte Street Foundation's la Esquina Gallery as part of Yeah, No, I Mean It: Time, Situation, Dexterity Performance Art Symposium curated by Jessica Borusky

Placemats & Aftermath