Pictures at an Exhibition

‘Conversations’ at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis

Luzene Hill (Eastern Band of Cherokee), Retracing the Trace, 2011–15, cord, ink, and pastel, dimensions variable, performance view. COURTESY THE ARTIST

Luzene Hill (Eastern Band of Cherokee), Retracing the Trace, 2011–15, cord, ink, and pastel, dimensions variable, performance view.

COURTESY THE ARTIST

Pictures at an Exhibition presents images of one notable show every weekday.

Today’s show: “Conversations: Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship” is on view at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis through Sunday, February 28. The group exhibition features the work of the five selected fellows, all of whom are working contemporary Native American or First Nations artists. First started in 1999, the program awards the artists $25,000 each, publishes a catalogue for the exhibition, and purchases work for the museum’s permanent collection. The aim of the show is for the artists—Luzene Hill, Brenda Mallory, Da-ka-xeen Mehner, Holly Wilson, and Mario Martinez—to engage in “a ‘conversation’ with themselves, their culture and the public,” according to the show’s press release.

Of particular note from this group is Hill’s installation piece Retracing the Trace (2011–15), which addresses the high statistic of rapes that go unreported each day in the United States. In the work, 3,870 crimson-colored Incan knots, one for each unreported case of sexual assault, are poured over the artist’s body; Hill then proceeds to hang each knot on the walls of the room over the course of sixty hours. (The Indianapolis Star, who pointed us to this exhibition, recently published a harrowing account of Hill’s rape and how her art examines her experience and the experiences of countless other women.)

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