Pashpeshau: Rising Multiplicities – Indigenous Artists Speaker Series with Demian DinéYazhi´(Diné), artist and activist
Pashpeshau means s/he rises, s/he bursts forth, s/he blooms, in the Massachusett language, Natick Dictionary
As the work of Indigenous artists gains prominence across the globe, this series highlights the multidimensional perspectives of Indigenous artists that challenge dominant cultural defects, engage with critical approaches to creating, and expose our deep relationships to land, ancestors, other life forms and future generations.
Demian DinéYazhi´ (born 1983) is an Indigenous Diné transdisciplinary artist born to the clans Naasht’ézhí Tábąąhá (Zuni Clan Water’s Edge) and Tódích’íí’nii (Bitter Water). Growing up in the colonized border town of Gallup, New Mexico, the evolution of DinéYazhi´’s work has been influenced by their ancestral ties to traditional Diné culture, ceremony, matrilineal upbringing, the sacredness of land, and the importance of intergenerational knowledge. Through research, mining community archives, and social collaboration, DinéYazhi´ highlights the intersections of Radical Indigenous Queer Feminist identity and political ideology while challenging the white noise of contemporary art. They have recently exhibited at Whitney Museum of American Art (2018), Henry Art Gallery (2018), Pioneer Works (2018), CANADA, NY (2017); and Cooley Art Gallery (2017). DinéYazhi´ is the founder of the Indigenous artist/activist initiative, R.I.S.E.: Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment. DinéYazhi´ also serves as co-editor of Locusts: A Post-Queer Nation Zine. They are the recipient of the Henry Art Museum’s Brink Award (2017), Hallie Ford Fellow in the Visual Arts (2018), and Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellow (2019).@heterogeneoushomosexual
Recent articles about Demian DinéYazhi´and their exhibitions:
A Poetics of Survival: A Conversation with Demian DinéYazhi
A Nation Is a Massacre -Demian DinéYazhi’ and R.I.S.E.: Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment
The Brink: Demian DinéYazhi´, Henry Art Gallery
Demian DinéYazhi’ Mines a Toxic History
The Pashpeshau series is organized by Erin Genia (SMACT ’19) and Nicole L’Huillier (Media Lab), and supported by MIT Office of Graduate Education, MIT Program in Art Culture and Technology, and the MIT Media Lab.