Center on Contemporary Art presents “When She Dies, You Too Will Die” featuring Contemporary Indigenous Artist, Christine Babic, from the Chugach Suqpiaq tribe to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation
CoCA is proud to present a solo exhibition of work by Christine Babic, “When She Dies, You Too Will Die,” opening December 1 at our Pioneer Square gallery. Her first solo exhibition in Seattle is a culmination of her two month artist residency at CoCA Lab, an artist residency space located in the Container Village at the heart of the growing Equinox Creative Industrial Complex.
Born to the homelands of her ancestors in Cordova, Alaska, Christine grew up in the midst of the Exxon Valdez disaster, where she bore witness to the rampant destruction of Native lands and resources. Growing up, she participated in a variety of traditional Suqpiaq art practices, focusing on her mother's mastery - skin sewing and dance. She attended the Pacific Northwest College of Art, where she concentrated on unpacking colonialist structures and creating new methodologies surrounding Native art. Babic began to use the language of hides, taxidermy, and found objects to speak of her lived experience and the oppression of Native peoples that she has witnessed.
“Some day the earth will weep, she will beg for her life, she will cry with tears of blood. You will make a choice if you will help her or let her die, and when she dies you too will die.” -John Hollow Horn, Oglala Sioux
As her residency began in September, the protests in North Dakota were gaining strength. Babic felt a responsibility to drive 17 hours to Cannonball, North Dakota to protest in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Nation. “When She Dies, You Too Will Die” is a love letter inspired by the devastating and unspoken history of colonization written to every victim of the American Genocide of the Native, and a call to arms for beaten and exhausted generations of survivors.
The show features works that are incredibly personal to Babic’s heritage, her experience as a contemporary Native artist, and as a protester at Standing Rock. An American flag altered and tarnished by its journey to North Dakota, entitled ‘No DAPL’; an inherited caribou hide bearing the inscription ‘Meet Our Eskimo’; a collaborative piece between Babic and her mother - a traditional Suqpiaq artist - her works call attention to current issues facing Native peoples and incite a critical look at how to end the continuing oppression. Babic’s “When She Dies, You Too Will Die" poignantly screams out, “we will not be displaced again, we will not be assimilated, our culture will not be drowned by your pools of oil and blood.”
Opening Reception: Thursday, December 1, 6-9pm
Artist Lecture: Saturday, December 3rd at Noon followed by Q&A.
Exhibit runs December 1 - December 23, 2016.
CoCA is located at 114 Third Avenue South, Seattle, WA.
Gallery Hours: Thursday-Saturday, 10:30am-4:30pm.