Water flows in rivers and streams, in arteries and veins. It flows around us and through us. From raindrops to vast oceans, from the largest tree to the smallest pollinator, we are all part of its currents. The water moves through rivers, ancient beings that guard the stories of the living organisms that inhabit their banks and water. In the exhibition Water and Origin: Protecting and Honoring the First Storyteller, artists from across Turtle Island/North America explore these vital narratives. Through photography, painting, quilting, and ceramics, artists share the cultural memories of their communities and the importance of protecting these waterways.
The artists included the Kanien’kehá:ka/Mohawk quilter Iakonikonriiosta, Kanien’kehá:ka/Mohawk ceramicist Katsitsionni Fox, the Mazatec art/farming collective Kjoaetzen, and the dancers/filmmakers Blake Lavia and Tzintzun Aguila-Izzo, from the Talking Wings Collective. The artist couple Blake Lavia and Tzintzun Aguila-Izzo also serve as the exhibitions curators, visibly weaving together the different pieces. Through contemporary dance and videography, they delve into the environmental history of the Kaniatarowanénhne/St. Lawrence River Watershed on traditional Haudenosaunee territory and at the Antigua Watershed of Veracruz, Mexico, Totonac/Nahua Territory.
WATER & ORIGIN: PART 1
Water, as the origin of all things...
This first installment of Water and Origin: Honoring and Protecting the First Storyteller, explores the concept of origin and beginnings. The artists included in the first single channel video projection are: Iakonikonriiosta, Katsitsionni Fox and the Talking Wings Collective. Their work flows through and with the waterways of the Kaniatarowanénhne / St. Lawrence River Watershed (Haudenosaunee Territory). Together they explore the sacred body of water, the source of all life and creation.
WATER & ORIGIN: PART 2
Water, land and growth...
The second installment of Water and Origin, explores the nourishing power of waterways. The artists included in the first single channel video projection are: Katsitsionni Fox and the Talking Wings Collective. As the artists collaboratively delve into the rivers of the region, their art speaks of seedlings, growth, and the flourishing of our collective futures.
WATER & ORIGIN: PART 3
Protecting this sacred resource...
This last and final installment of Water and Origin, moves from exploration to action. The artists involved in these actions of art/resistance are the artists/growers from the Kjoaetzen Collective and movement artists from the Talking Wings Collective.
The Kjoaetzen Collective is formed primarily of Mazatec artists who are focused on rekindling a connection with age old agricultural traditions in the "Sierra Mazateca," inspiring communities to return to the land. Their paintings are edited together with dance pieces filmed in the "Rio de los Pescados," in the Antigua Watershed, Veracruz, Mexico. There, the movement artists from the Talking Wings Collective (Alejandro Beltran Cordero, Blake Lavia y Tzintzun Aguilar Izzo) embodied the waters that have been successfully protected from large scale hydroelectric projects by the PUCARL Collective (Pueblos Unidos de la Cuenca de la Antigua por Rios Libres).