[-empyre-] Greetings empyre

Timothy Conway Murray tcm1 at cornell.edu
Thu Nov 15 02:03:59 AEDT 2018


Thank you for joining us, Jolene.  It is so fantastic to share your voice and work with the -empyre- community.

What you term as the 'resurgence' of Cayuga culture and art provides a crucially poignant resonance to the notions of "passage, persistence, survival" that frame the "Duration" theme of our month's discussion, which also is the theme of the 2018 Cornell Biennial in which your project participates.  Most telling is your juxtaposition of the "averted erasure" of Cayuga culture with the "hegemonic blending of culture" which far too often papers over the distinctness of cultural space.

I think this is a point that Kate Brettkelly made in her introductory post last week in reflecting on her writing on "works of art by Darren Almond, Nicholas Mangan and Olafur Eliasson [that] have similarly centred on seemingly wondrous encounters with geological durations or glacial deep time. But looking more critically at this artistic interest in deep time, I have wondered whether it risks the presumption of an absolute, universal frame of reference. Does it presuppose a primordial time that is rather conveniently indifferent to histories of social inequality and subjugation? More pointedly, when we celebrate the deep time of earth, do we actively overlook the durations and experiences of indigenous peoples?" 

In our conversations over the years, I recall your making similar contrasts between the Tuscarora reverence of the land and sustenance of indigenous corn in resistence to blended residues of the "burnt earth" campaign waged against the Cayuga and Tuscarora in our region.

I'm wondering if you would mind saying a bit about how this is inflected in your personal artistic practice as well.

Best,

Tim

Timothy Murray
Director, Cornell Council for the Arts and Curator, CCA Biennial
http://cca.cornell.edu
Curator, Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art 
http://goldsen.library.cornell.edu <http://goldsen.library.cornell.edu/>
Professor of Comparative Literature and English
 
B-1 West Sibley Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853
 
 

On 11/13/18, 5:01 AM, "empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on behalf of Jolene K. Rickard" <empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au on behalf of jkr33 at cornell.edu> wrote:

    ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
    Nya:weh (Thanks) to Tim Murry and Renate Ferro for inviting me to be a part of the -empyre-soft_skinned space. 
    My participation in Duration: Passage, Persistence, Survival is as convener in collaboration with artists from the GAYOGOHÓ:NÓ or Cayuga Nation diaspora. As noted by Tim Murry, Cornell is located within Cayuga homelands but does not fully recognize it's obligation to 'territory.' The Cayuga were dispossessed and forced from their homeland in 1779 by a systematic military campaign during the American Revolution known as the Clinton-Sullivan Expedition. The Cayuga sheltered throughout Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Nations for over 229 years and have now embarked on the remarkable resistance of returning to their territorial space. 
    	The relationship between Indigenous peoples and the United States is relevant but not at the core of the collaborative project with Cayuga artists. This tentative assemblage of these artists will be the first time since their forced removal that they will be coming together as "Cayuga" artists. The process of conversation, reclamation of Cayuga space and history will be at the center of a proposed installation at Akwe:kon, an Indigenous student residence on campus. Marking space as Cayuga will be an important action in this collaboration, but there isn't a distinct aesthetic Cayuga practice but their relationship to place is richly detailed in their language. The term 'resurgence' can be applied to the robust recovery of Cayuga culture in this moment as redress for the 'burnt earth' campaign waged against these peoples at the birth of America. 
    	I recognize that this emblematic experience of the relationship between Indigenous peoples and settler states as a global condition. Indigenous peoples have endured the modern epoch of colonialism and are emerging from an averted erasure. But, at a moment when most have accepted the hegemonic blending of culture, this artistic intervention seeks to reclaim a distinct culture space. How will this return to Cayuga be read in an arts context insistent upon the flattening of epistemological and ontological difference? 
    
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