Monday, February 11, 2013

Isolation Room/Gallery Kit: Friday, 8 March 2013

Steven Deo: Global War
March 8 - April 4, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, March 8, 2013, 6pm-8pm

I wonder if Deo meant Global War (as well as another plastic soldier piece -- an adult playing war with a child) as a comment on the well-known patriotism of Indian nations, the disproportionate number of Native servicemen, and the much-mentioned “warrior tradition.” He was always questioning the status quo in his art. As Margaret Archuleta has suggested, these pieces ask that we contemplate “What messages about war are taught to children as they play ‘army’?”

Deo worked with Native issues such as diabetes (via Fry Bread), commodities, and small pox, and all his work came from a strong base in Native culture. But he was not afraid to tackle broad issues, like war, the environment, the exploitation of women’s bodies – all of which of course affect Native people like everyone else. His material strategy was accumulation, or accretion. For instance, in an exhibition on climate change that I curated, he made two beautiful full-sized bare-limbed white trees bearing fruit. The one made from the pulp of encyclopedia pages to represent knowledge was appropriately displayed in the University of Colorado’s main library. For the years that he was given, Deo made art that was both critical and innovative. Global War is one of his most significant works.   – Lucy R. Lippard

*Isolation Room/Gallery Kit will be showing Deo’s 2010 version of Global War, a copy of the 2005 original.


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