Culture is rooted in connection to land; like land, culture cannot be contained. I am inspired by generations of Lingít & Unangax̂ creative production and knowledge connected to the land I belong to. From this perspective I engage across cultures with contemporary conditions. My process of creation is a constant pursuit of freedom and vision for the present and future. Using Indigenous and non-Indigenous technologies and materials I resist romanticization, categorization and limitation. I use my work to explore adaptation, resilience, survival, active cultural amnesia, dream, memory, cultural resurgence, connection to and disconnection from the land.
Nicholas Galanin’s work engages contemporary culture from his perspective rooted in connection to land. He embeds incisive observation into his work, investigating intersections of culture and concept in form, image and sound. Galanin’s works embody critical thought as vessels of knowledge, culture and technology – inherently political, generous, unflinching, and poetic.
Galanin engages past, present and future to expose intentionally obscured collective memory and barriers to the acquisition of knowledge. His works critique commodification of culture, while contributing to the continuum of Tlingit art. Galanin employs materials and processes that expand dialogue on Indigenous artistic production, and how culture can be carried. His work is in numerous public and private collections and exhibited worldwide. Galanin apprenticed with master carvers, earned his BFA at London Guildhall University, and his MFA at Massey University, he lives and works with his family in Sitka, Alaska.
Moderated by Dr. Myla Vicenti Carpio (Arizona State University)
Co-sponsored by “Rethinking Place: Bard-on-Mahicantuck, a Mellon Foundation Humanities for All Times project”