Natalie M. Ball

Title

Natalie M. Ball

Artist Statement

"To Be Continued" is a claim for visual sovereignty. It is about taking back power through the relationship of a mother and her daughter in relation to historical genocide and disenfranchisement of the Modoc and Klamath people. I enlist auto-ethnography as an apparatus to offer you a visual articulation of a mother’s conscious actions to connect her daughter to her complex history, her water, her land, and her cultures for survival.

For me, for my family, for many native people, and for my daughter the “Indian Wars” are not over. “To Be Continued” acknowledges my daughter’s Indigenous womanhood within a reality where the wars have not subsided. There are other kinds of war, with legislation, not howitzers; water rights, land acquisition, dam removal, salmon restoration, self determination and blood quantum. There is always a fight.

When Ojibwe scholar Scott Lyons writes about native identity, "When the Indian speaks, it always speaks as an Indian," he is stating that it is not possible to ignore the complex narratives that create the idea of the Indian. I address this through traditional native markers, quilt pieces, a pony, but just in case you missed that the Indian is speaking as an Indian, I put the name Modoc in lights at the center of the piece. The door and floor put the installation in space and time, adding another layer of information. The space is being occupied, at least for the time being. What always was Indian land is back to being Indigenous space. The installation leaves no doubt, occupied or not, the space is Indian, Modoc in lights, telegraphing presence and native survivance.

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Citation

“Natalie M. Ball,” Artist Parent Index , accessed October 21, 2017, http://artistparentindex.com/items/show/18.

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