Responsibilities and Obligations

Understanding Mitákuye Oyásʼiŋ

February 25, 2020 - August 15, 2020

Ruth & Seymour Landfield Atrium

Responsibilities and Obligations: Understanding Mitákuye Oyásʼiŋ features work by Clementine Bordeaux, Mary V. Bordeaux, and Layli Long Soldier from Racing Magpie Gallery in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Mitákuye Oyásʼiŋ is a phrase in the Lakota language and culture that loosely translates to “we are all related” or “all my relatives.” It is used by Lakota and non-Lakota alike. The phrase has been appropriated as an all-encompassing idea of inclusiveness. This exhibition is a reflective journey highlighting Lakota female perspectives surrounding the idea and concept of Mitákuye Oyásʼiŋ. The project aims to engage Lakota artists, scholars and general audiences to reflect on the (mis)appropriation of this phrase through mixed and multimedia installations. The exhibition provides an opportunity to share the Lakota language and build understanding among the Titonwan communities of the region and the Native and non-Native populations in the Fargo Moorhead area through arts and culture.

Clementine Bordeaux is an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate and was raised on the Pine Ridge Reservation. From 2011-2017 she worked as the Academic Coordinator for the American Indian Studies Interdepartmental program at the University of California, Los Angeles, and will begin a PhD program in Culture and Performance at UCLA in the fall of 2017. Before moving to Los Angeles, Clementine earned her graduate degree from the University of Washington, Seattle, through the Native Voices Indigenous documentary film program.

Mary V. Bordeaux (Sicangu/Oglala Lakota) is the co-founder and owner of Racing Magpie, a collaborative space with a Native art gallery and artist studios. She received her BA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and MFA from the University of the Arts both in museum studies with an emphasis on exhibition design and planning. Bordeaux is currently working on her educational doctorate at Saint Mary’s University, researching Lakota epistemology.  She has held curatorial positions with The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School and The Indian Museum of North America at Crazy Horse Memorial.

Layli Long Soldier earned a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA from Bard College. She is the author of the chapbook Chromosomory (2010) and WHEREAS (2017). She has been a contributing editor to Drunken Boat; in 2012, her participatory installation, Whereas We Respond, was featured on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Whereas received the prestigious PEN/Jean Stein Book Award in 2018. In 2015, Long Soldier was awarded a National Artist Fellowship from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation and a Lannan Literary Fellowship for Poetry. She is also a recipient of a 2016 Whiting Award. A citizen of the Oglala Lakota Nation, Long Soldier lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her daughter.

  • Clementine and Mary V. Bordeaux, Pȟahíŋ, cotton fabric, glue, wire mesh, MP3, Speakers, 48 x 17 x 10 in.

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