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SIGHTINGS
Estrangement

Launched in 2012 in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery’s Permanent Collection, the SIGHTINGS satellite exhibition program was conceived as an experimental platform to critically reflect upon the possibilities and limitations of the modernist “white cube.” As part of this program, artists and curators are invited to develop projects for a cubic display unit located in a public space at the university, with the aim of generating new strategies for art dissemination.

In its past four editions, the yearly programming for SIGHTINGS has centered on themes of labor, pedagogy, psychopathologies, and systems. The 2019-2020 iteration will consider estrangement—as a state of mind, site of imagining, and vantage point from which one is able to perceive the world and oneself from outside of it. Occurring inside or in proximity to the Gallery’s off-site platform, projects will stray from assumptions about the modernist “white cube” as a conceptual space coded as neutral, self-contained and severed from the external world. Instead, engagements in the SIGHTINGS cube will employ discursive and display strategies to narrate their own contingency, attend to feelings of unfamiliarity, and explore processes of self-removal and self-examination. Repurposed as a device of positioning, estrangement here becomes a means to open up spaces for change and renegotiation.

The SIGHTINGS program is developed by Julia Eilers Smith.

SIGHTINGS is located on the ground floor of the Hall Building at 1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. West and is accessible weekdays and weekends from 7 am to 11 pm.

SIGHTINGS 28
( x ) x + [ ( x ) x { x } x x ] { x } +
Photo : Paul Litherland

Kite aka Suzanne Kite is an Oglala Lakota performance artist, visual artist, and composer raised in Southern California, with a BFA from CalArts in music composition, an MFA from Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School, and is a PhD candidate at Concordia University. Currently she is a 2019 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar and a Research Assistant for the Initiative for Indigenous Futures. Her research is concerned with contemporary Lakota epistemologies through research-creation, computational media, and performance practice. Recently, Kite has been developing a body interface for movement performances, carbon fiber sculptures, immersive video & sound installations, as well as co-running the experimental electronic imprint, Unheard Records.

September 14, 2019 – January 5, 2020

A project by Kite

The audio component of this piece is available here.

Violence takes many forms, some of which are form itself.

Comprising an installation and a performance, the work ( x ) x + [ ( x ) x { x } x x ] { x } + (pronounced “Sources”) explores the relationship between the artist’s body and the entanglement of lies, fiction, oral history, mythology, and ethnography that surround Lakota religion. Developed from an obsessive hyper-structure and information derived from “poor” sourcebooks, the project delves into attempts to qualify Oglala religion into structural and clarified terms. Four female characters who have shaped the Lakota cosmology of the present—Wówaniče, Iyóšnišnišyakel, Anúng Oníya and Wamákȟamanišniyaŋ Oštémagla—are conjured through leather and carbon-fibre sculptures, animation, sound composed by Kite and Aerial, home video, wearable technologies, scores and movement. The differences between telling stories, telling lies, and creating fiction are wrapped up in the precarious status of a display labeled as “Lakota.”

The project launches the 2019-2020 satellite exhibition program SIGHTINGS on the theme of estrangement.

Kite wishes to thank AbTeC, James Hurwitz, Hannah Athena Lawton, Bettina Perez and Devin Ronneberg.

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The source materials for this installation are:

Two carbon fibre face shields to have Double the Face protection.

Terrain extracted from the United State Geological Service and reanimated to emerge from an almost Lakota design.

Symbols arranged to represent the relationships between the beings described by the anthropologist.

Six carbon fibre bison tracks to protect the spine.

Silence.

Painting of a shield that a tribe did not want reproduced or ever seen again but was printed in a Metropolitan Museum of Art catalogue.

Music composed in 4 2 1 form.

Moccasins that don’t even stay on.

Melodies taken from an unnamed website which belongs to a group of white people who conduct sweat lodges and sing in Lakota in Colorado, who make recordings of those sweat lodge songs available online for download.

Lots of plastic hair which vaguely resembles bison fur.

Lakota designs copied from a book titled “Sioux Beadwork Designs.”

Instructions to create one’s own spinal cord.

Instructions to control the stars.

Instructions to be excruciatingly enraptured.

Instructions to be crippled and dying.

Home video of Tamya jumping in hula-hoops, but altered to fit the numerological structure of 4 2 1.

Home video of a storm descending on Kyle, SD.

Grey leather clothing which is almost in a plains style, but actually look nothing like plains buckskin in style or construction.

Graphic charts made by an anthropologist, describing how the earth was cosmologically formed.

Drum and Bass loops from Blu Mar Ten’s jungle jungle sample pack.

Bison horns made of carbon fibre.

Artist’s face bluntly formed in rubber and then in clay.

Artist singing internet Inipi songs.

A Strike-a-Light bag without any strikes or lights and most offensively, no decoration.

A painting of total darkness.

A hanger from the artist’s mother’s closet.

A carbon fibre face shield to protect the frontal lobe and another to protect the jaw bone.

3D video renderings of an earthquake on terrain of Kyle, SD, located in Pine Ridge Reservation, where my grandfather was raised, where my cousins live, and where I will be buried.

3D video renderings of a meteor shower on terrain of Kyle, SD, located in Pine Ridge Reservation, where my grandfather was raised, where my cousins live, and where I will be buried.

Close

Kite aka Suzanne Kite is an Oglala Lakota performance artist, visual artist, and composer raised in Southern California, with a BFA from CalArts in music composition, an MFA from Bard College’s Milton Avery Graduate School, and is a PhD candidate at Concordia University. Currently she is a 2019 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar and a Research Assistant for the Initiative for Indigenous Futures. Her research is concerned with contemporary Lakota epistemologies through research-creation, computational media, and performance practice. Recently, Kite has been developing a body interface for movement performances, carbon fiber sculptures, immersive video & sound installations, as well as co-running the experimental electronic imprint, Unheard Records.

Events

Guided Tour

Tuesday, October 15, 5:30 pm

Location: SIGHTINGS Cube
1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. West, Hall Building
Ground floor
Facebook Event

Performance

Wednesday, December 4, 5:30 pm

Location: SIGHTINGS Cube
1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. West, Hall Building
Ground floor