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   xoxoxoBruce  Friday Jun 2 11:41 PM

June 3rd, 2017: Scaffold

Los Angeles-based artist Sam Durant built a large sculpture called Scaffold for Documenta in 2012 in Kassel, Germany.



He described it on his website at the time.

Quote:
Because of the intricacy and complexity of this structure, it may not be immediately apparent as to exactly what its origins are or how it is to be used; while children use it as a play structure, adults, perhaps attracted by its architectural novelty can slowly discover its origins and meaning. While some might see a resemblance to constructions in an adventure playground from the 1970’s, the sculpture is actually made up of a combination of reconstructed gallows (or scaffolds as they were once called) that were used in executions of significance throughout U.S. history. Through this formal uncertainty there is an attempt to signify both the free play of childhood and the ultimate form of control, capital punishment. These seemingly oppositional tracks have come together in the United States in the last decade, resulting in what is known as “the School to Prison Pipeline.”

The gallows used in the sculpture represent a range of executions, some nearly iconic, beginning with John Brown in 1859 and culminating in the scaffold used in Saddam Hussein’s hanging in 2006. There is no intention of directly equating the victims of the various executions or of making equivalencies between the activities that led to their deaths. The only consistency implied in the project is that they are all State sanctioned executions. Some of the other gallows represented include the last public hanging in the U.S. in 1936 attended by tens of thousands as well as the 1996 execution that became the last death by hanging in the United States.
Fast forward to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis ready to open its newly renovated sculpture garden.


Quote:
Walker’s Director, Olga Viso, posted an open letter on the museum’s website saying that she didn’t anticipate how the work would be received in Minnesota, especially by Native audiences. “Scaffold,” she wrote, depicts seven different historical gallows used in hangings sanctioned by the US government between 1859 and 2006. One of the gallows the piece represents was used to hang 38 Native men in Mankato, Minnesota at the end of the US-Dakota War of 1862, the largest mass execution in the history of the United States.
That’s when the Indians got all butt hurt about it.



Quote:
Social media and local news erupted after Viso’s letter was posted. Politicians, leaders of several arts organizations, Native American artists, and tribal groups, including Minnesota’s Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, condemned the work for several reasons. Critics said the piece was problematic because it was made by a non-native artist, that it is triggering historical pain — especially given that the Walker sits on land once used by the Dakota people.
It didn’t trigger historic pain for the month it sat there before somebody told you the Dakotas were involved in 1/7th of the part
of US history used in this piece to represent all government hangings.

Quote:
On Saturday afternoon, the Walker released a second statement by Viso in which she said that it will take the sculpture down, and will work with the Dakota community to decide what will become of “Scaffold.” The statement didn’t give a timeline for the sculpture’s removal, but said that Durant, representatives of the Walker, and Traditional Spiritual Dakota Elders will meet to discuss its fate on the morning of Wednesday, May 31.
What, why the fuck would they decide what happens to it. If you acquiesce to their not-in-my-backyard demands, fine.
Take it down and move it out, but they have no right to dictate its future.

Quote:
“It has been my belief that white artists need to address issues of white supremacy and its institutional manifestations,” Durant said today in a statement addressed to the Dakota community. “However, your protests have shown me that I made a grave miscalculation in how my work can be received by those in a particular community. In focusing on my position as a white artist making work for that audience I failed to understand what the inclusion of the Dakota 38 in the sculpture could mean for Dakota people.” Durant went on to apologize for his thoughtlessness: “I should have reached out to the Dakota community the moment I knew that the sculpture would be exhibited at the Walker Art Center in proximity to Mankato.”
OK, he’s mending his standing with the Indians and white liberals who control all the art institutions in the country.

Quote:
“When I first saw it, I had this huge anxious feeling and broke down in tears,” says Kate Beane, a Dakota woman who works as a community liaison for the Minnesota Historical Society. “I don’t think the Walker or the artist took into consideration what kind of impact a structure like that would have on a community of people who have been impacted by historical trauma.”
For Beane, seeing the work was traumatic, especially as she was there with her child. She also felt disappointment, because so much of her work is about building awareness about Dakota history. “We do this over and over and over again,” she said. “We get a lot of backlash about it and it’s tiring work. And then something like this still happens.”
When you first saw it (at the closed park) you instantly knew it involved hanging Dakotas? Bullshit, you had already been told
so you went to see it and took your kid with you. You were fully prepared to "break down in tears". Nothing like Mommy crying
to impress the kid.
It’s not about you Kate, it’s not about Indian history, it’s about US penal history. I don’t see Blacks getting upset and more of
them were hung/lynched than anyone else.
How about if they give you a permit for casino expansion?

link


gvidas  Saturday Jun 3 02:18 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Los Angeles-based artist Sam Durant built a large sculpture called Scaffold for Documenta in 2012 in Kassel, Germany.


He described it on his website at the time.


Fast forward to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis ready to open its newly renovated sculpture garden.


Thatís when the Indians got all butt hurt about it.



It didnít trigger historic pain for the month it sat there before somebody told you the Dakotas were involved in 1/7th of the part
of US history used in this piece to represent all government hangings.



What, why the fuck would they decide what happens to it. If you acquiesce to their not-in-my-backyard demands, fine.
Take it down and move it out, but they have no right to dictate its future.



OK, heís mending his standing with the Indians and white liberals who control all the art institutions in the country.



When you first saw it (at the closed park) you instantly knew it involved hanging Dakotas? Bullshit, you had already been told
so you went to see it and took your kid with you. You were fully prepared to "break down in tears". Nothing like Mommy crying
to impress the kid.
Itís not about you Kate, itís not about Indian history, itís about US penal history. I donít see Blacks getting upset and more of
them were hung/lynched than anyone else.
How about if they give you a permit for casino expansion?

link

Bruce, I've generally been a fan of the IOTD & your work keeping it running. Lately I don't really check in on the cellar in general, but keep an eye on the RSS feed of the IOTD.

But I popped in to say that this is some racist trash.

I say that because the language + content of your post show consistent disrespect to a group of people clearly and calmly saying "this hurts us and here is why." You're dismissing their pain without looking twice at what hurts them, despite them + countless others providing a free education on the subject. And you're being pretty deliberately dense in order to do so.

In no particular order:

* address people how they want to be addressed, meaning retire "Indian". You're quoting passages where it's really clear how people want to be collectively referred to

* WTF to the casino joke

* why does it matter how far the piece progressed before the pain was felt? One does not need to be omniscient to be wronged. And it's fairly rich to have a 3-week statute of limitations on injuries resulting from approximately 400 years of colonization

* 1/7th seems like a significant fraction when you're counting murders, and especially when what you quoted notes that fraction includes the largest mass execution in our history.

* if you wanna see how black people have responded to an incredibly similar and recent piece of art, read up on this recent painting of Emmett Till after he was lynched:
https://news.artnet.com/art-world/da...protest-897929
https://hyperallergic.com/368012/wha...z-controversy/
https://thenewinquiry.com/the-demand-remains/
http://contemptorary.org/the-rage-sexton/

* if you wanna see how black artists have chosen to respond to the USA's history of lynching, check out The Memorial To Peace and Justice


xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Jun 3 03:30 AM

Racist? No. However the tribes in that area getting upset about this piece is ridiculous. They act like it's an affront to them when it's a criticism of the US governments policy of capital punishment, and hanging in particular. They should be joining in on that, instead of trying to make it all about them.

Someone put up a sign, "feels like 1862". How the fuck would they know? They sure weren't around, and even if elders told them, there's no fucking way they can know what it felt like to lose the war and watch these men hanged.

Of the original 304 found guilty of the massacres by trial of the Military Court, there were 38 which President Lincoln approved execution. And like it or not, right or wrong, it was carried out. You don't have a clue how the people of the time, Indians or white, felt about it. But it's part of US history and that can't be changed by renting of cloth or wearing sackcloth and ashes, now.

The Indians now take affront at anything mentioning the fact they lost. They kept pushing the belief the noble redman was a peaceful nature loving group who were savaged by the evil white man. This is absolute horseshit. Yes the white man pushed the Indians off the land, but savagery was no stranger to the Indians. Check out the Winter Count skins at the Smithsonian. Read about how they killed each other, including children berry picking, just for the fuck of it.

As far as calling them Indians goes, the first 50 years of my life everyone called them indians, as they had for 500 years. The ones I saw on TV or speaking in person to, did too. Then it became politically correct to change to Native Americans, or a tribe name, and Indian was an insult. I'm sure everyone knows who I'm talking about so there's is no confusion. So fuck that, I've been called a lot of names I didn't like, but that's the way it goes. There's no racism involved.

I don't see any Black people pissing and moaning about this piece. It certainly is more about the injustices to them than the Indians. But they are smart enough to know what it's about, what it represents.



Diaphone Jim  Sunday Jun 4 01:14 PM

The installation does seem to speaking loudly and correctly about lynching and executions (if there is a difference) in the US. It is a protest, not a celebration.
But I have a lot of trouble telling the people we call Indians what they should feel.
The genocide of hundreds of years continues to this day.
A thorny IOTD, Bruce, but worthwhile.



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Jun 5 01:43 AM

Sure it is, the death penalty is always a hot button issue. I'm glad you realize this was a protest. That was the intent of the artist and hasn't changed, when he created it, and spelled it out online before it was ever displayed. I think he had to explain because just looking at it the intent is not clear.

As far as being politically correct, I'll call them whatever the hell they want in any official doings, or documents. But personally, they are Indians and when I say that everyone knows exactly who I'm referring to. Their culture is theirs not mine, anymore than the culture of Chinatown or South LA.



lumberjim  Monday Jun 5 08:24 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post

As far as being politically correct, I'll call them whatever the hell they want in any official doings, or documents. But personally, they are Indians and when I say that everyone knows exactly who I'm referring to.
Yeah, but only because I call people from India 'Dots'

Eta: I'm pretty sure I'm not A racist, but.... my sense of humor seems to be pretty fucking wacist.


footfootfoot  Monday Jun 5 09:04 AM

Lacist Gleek plick



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Jun 5 11:22 AM

Cowboys and Dots?



footfootfoot  Monday Jun 5 04:43 PM

Indian Dot vs. Indian Feather



lumberjim  Monday Jun 5 07:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Cowboys and Dots?
No, Pith Helmets v. Dots. Nigel v Mujibur


Costumer v. Call center


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