There's Urgent Art at the Frye, Including Arrows Pointed at Your Head
by Jen Graves
on Thu, Jul 3, 2014 at 2:31 PM
Courtesy of the artist and Frye Art Museum
NICHOLAS GALANIN A fleet of 50 porcelain arrows are made of fragile porcelain. "You're empowered—up to a point," Galanin said of his interpretation of the indigenous weapons. "They're gonna shatter when they hit. It's like when you dream you're flying, and then you wake up."
Those flying arrows also point to a far wall where there's an antenna, a radio on a shelf, and a cedar box full of wires. Galanin has hooked up a pirate radio station inside the museum—93.7 on the dial. The broadcast is Tlingit language lessons, an older man teaching a younger woman.
Galanin, who is Tlingit, travels easily across the ancient and the current. He apprenticed young to a traditional carver and jeweler, got his fine art bachelor's degree in London, then earned his master's in indigenous visual arts in New Zealand. He makes political hiphop under the identity of Indian Nick and soft folk music as Silver Jackson, and created the record label Homeskillet. Your Feast Has Ended doesn't include music (though you can hear some on headphones in the gift shop), but it does include a wide array of wisely edgy stuff. Rape-whistle earrings shaped into lovebirds, for instance.