NOW SHOWING AT 23 SANDY:
Book Art About Ancestry, Identity
and our Personal Cultural Narrative
On View Through December 19, 2015
Blood Quantum is a concept that refers to the degree of ancestry for an individual of a specific racial or ethnic group such as Native Americans. This concept leads to thinking about ancestry, identity, heritage, family history and personal cultural narrative. Artist books, as multi-surfaced and textural objects, are a perfect medium to explore such complex and powerful topics. Artists responded to our call with deeply felt, thoughtful works—at once celebration, remembrance and reflection.
During a brainstorming session a couple of years ago, the Blood Quantum concept was suggested by Erin Mickelson, 23 Sandy’s long-time, beloved, and recently relocated gallery assistant. Erin’s ancestry is Native American, yet she feels “whole, halved, and halved again” as the last generation with a high enough blood quantum for tribal membership. Her multi-media book work in the show attempts to preserve her tribe’s language while also creating a history for her son. We are grateful for her voice and for the voice of every single artist who created heartfelt, personal work for this show. Thank you all.
Thank you as well to Robert Gore for his help jurying this exhibition. His experienced, reasoned and nuanced appreciation for artist books and their many incarnations made for a very smart, cohesive show. Click here to read Robert's juror's statement.
Image credits, left to right: © Matt Runkle, Elsi Vassdal Ellis and Hidde Van Duym