Dreaming in English at Van Every/Smith Galleries, Davidson

By November 27, 2021
a green road sign reading "Indian River" the word "Road" has been spray-painted over with the word "Land." the sky is overcast and the forested road is dark and shadowed
Nicholas Galanin, Get Comfortable, 2012; C-print mounted on DIBOND, 32 by 48 inches, Image courtesy the artist.
Nancy Friedemann-Sánchez’s Casta Paintings on view at Halsey Institute in Charleston through July16
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Nicholas Galanin, Things Are Looking Native, Native’s Looking Whiter, 2012; giclée print, edition 3/5, 34 by 35 inches. Image courtesy the artist.
Nicholas Galanin, Everything We’ve Ever Been, Everything We Are Right Now – Untitled (Blue), 2019; monotype on paper, 30 by 22 inches. Image courtesy the artist.


Nicholas Galanin’s work is rooted in his perspective as an Indigenous man, deeply connected to the land and his Tlingit and Unangax̂ cultures. Over the past two decades, Galanin has worked across media, materials, and processes, engaging past, present, and future to expose widespread misappropriation and commodification of Indigenous visual culture, the impact of colonialism, intentionally obscured collective memory, and barriers to the acquisition of knowledge. His practice, encompassing sculpture, installation, photography, video, performance, printmaking and textile-based works, unites traditional and contemporary processes and materials to reclaim narrative and creative agency, and contribute to the continuum of Tlingit art within an ever-evolving contemporary Indigenous practice. His exhibition at the Van Every/Smith Galleries, Dreaming in English, includes an installation of the same title that speaks directly to the forced removal and relocation of Indigenous children from the reservation into residential “schools.” These so-called “schools” were not focused on education but rather on assimilation; the intent was to eradicate both culture and spirit.

In 2020, Galanin excavated the shape of the shadow of the Capt. James Cooke statue in Hyde Park for the Biennale of Sydney, examining the effects of colonization on land, critiquing anthropological bias, and ultimately suggesting the burial of the statue and others like it. In 2021, he created a replica of the Hollywood sign for the Desert X Biennial in Palm Springs CA, which reads INDIAN LAND, directly advocating for and supporting the Land back and real rent initiatives. This fall, Galanin will begin work on a temporary outdoor project for Davidson College’s campus.

Listen to a conversation between Nicholas Galanin, DeLesslin “Roo” George-Warren, Dr. Rose Stremlau, and Lia Newman here.

from the exhibition text

Nicholas Galanin, Detail of Fair Warning, 2019; six C-prints mounted on DIBOND and audio loop, dimensions variable. Image courtesy the artist.
Dreaming in English, 2021; monotypes, 30 by 22 inches. Image courtesy the artist.
Dreaming in English, 2021; monotypes, 30 by 22 inches. Image courtesy the artist.
Dreaming in English, 2021; monotypes, 30 by 22 inches. Image courtesy the artist.
Seeds, a juried show. applications open through August 5 at Westobou Gallery, Augusta
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Nicholas Galanin, Everything We’ve Ever Been, Everything We Are Right Now – Untitled (Black Figure), 2019; monotype on paper, 30 by 22 inches. Image courtesy the artist.
Nicholas Galanin, Kill the Indian, Save the Woman, 2015; C-prints, diptych, 20 by 14.5 inches each.
Nicholas Galanin, Unshadowed Land (in progress), 2022. Image courtesy the artist.

Dreaming in English by Nicholas Galanin is on view at the Van Every/Smith Galleries in Davidson, North Carolina through December 9, 2021.

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