Collaboration with Yeil Ya-Tseen/Nicholas Galanin
fabric, paper, polymerized plaster, metal leaf, feathers, fur, beads, deerhide, string, aluminum cans, hand- dyed and hand woven fiber, partially disassembled porcupine roach, tassels, deer toes, caning, beads, fringe, ribbon
Open Container is composed of three life sized figures, aside from gold hands the figures are covered completely in dark floral fabric, embellished with beadwork, tassels, deer toes, feathers and ribbon work. Leaning over a large book with the negative space of a face removed from the depth of the pages, the title references containers of knowledge in many forms. One of the child sized figures leans close, holding a rawhide covered tin can telephone towards the ear of the adult, on whose head is perched a basket woven in the shape of glasses. Both the child and the adult are containers themselves, and the tin can phone serves as both container and transporter of knowledge and connection. At a distance, another child sized figure holds the other tin can telephone, and cradles a book cut into the shape of a Tlingit mask, one that does not match in the negative space in the book. The books, the tin can phones, the figures themselves are containers for knowledge, culture, connection and continuum. The title speaks to the kinds of containers we open; that we must open ourselves to share and to receive knowledge and connection. Additionally the title consciously conjures up images of no open container signs directed at alcohol consumption, referring simultaneously to containers we can open with the potential to harm, distract and derail. The work is an amalgamation of what it means to see and be seen, to speak, to listen and, to be heard, about continuum, about what can be lost, remembered and felt.