I’ve Been Indigenous My Whole Life: Images of Indigenous Art and Activism
Gregg Deal, a provocative contemporary artist/activist and 15 year resident of the DC metro area, discusses his work, which explores indigenous identity and pop-culture, touching on issues of race relations, historical consideration and stereotype. This is especially true with Deal’s latest performance pieces, The Last American Indian on Earth and REDSKIN. In The Last American Indian on Earth, the artist exploits stereotypes existing in American culture while simultaneously challenging the viewer’s understanding of the Indigenous as both contemporary and relic. REDSKIN, a work that employs acts of micro-aggression (particularly in the way fans of the Washington Football team engage Indigenous people), illustrates the imbalance of equality, authority, and voice within the context of the mascot debate. Within this work, as well as his paintings and murals, Deal advances issues within Indian country such as decolonization, conversations surrounding local and national sports mascots, and cultural appropriation. In his unflinching examination of such heavy subject matter, Deal speaks to these issues with intelligence and sharp wit, remaining keenly aware of his place as an Indigenous man and a contemporary artist. Following his presentation, Deal responds to questions from the audience, further exploring the themes of his art. Gregg Deal (Pyramid Lake Paiute) has appeared on Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, and most recently The Daily Show. Deal has been published in numerous media outlets, specifically Washington Post, Huffington Post, High Country News, Washington City Paper, Indian Country Today. Learn more about Deal's work at his web site, http://www.greggdeal.com and his FaceBook page, https://www.facebook.com/greggdealart. He tweets @greggdeal. This presentation was webcast and recorded in the Rasmuson Theater of the National Museum of the American Indian on December 7, 2014 as part of the three-day program, Capture Shawdows: Circulating Images of Native Americans on Film that was produced with support from Maryland's College of Arts and Humanities and the Center fro Literary and Cultural Studies.