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Nat Evans – Flyover Country

Wednesday, October 24 2018

Flyover Country is the newest work by sound artist Nat Evans. This multi-layered composition picks apart the nation’s colonialist history from 1710 – 1940 and its impact on grasslands ecology, indigenous communities, and extraction industries through the lens of the artist’s family archive. Music, video, electronics, and the artist’s own storytelling are woven together in a performance that traces the parallel lines between the Evans family’s generational mythologies and America’s westward expansion.

In the summer of 2017, I discovered a huge wealth of family history – family trees extending back to the 1600s, stories that had been written down, and an archive of hundreds of photographs dating back to the 1870s. As I began to assemble a history of my family and our westward expansion, I concurrently took a deep look at indigenous cultures of North America, and traveled to different places that had similar ecological features to places my family settled, such as the oceanic tallgrass prairie in the Flint Hills of Kansas.

The deeper I looked at the wider history of things, the more the holes in the mythology of my family manifested themselves. Timelines of movement matched up with historical genocide at the hands of white citizen militias, treaties with the Lakota broken as millions of bison were slaughtered for the market hunt and white settlers flooded the sacred Black Hills of South Dakota to mine for gold, and unsustainable farming practices led to tilled under grasslands from Illinois to New Mexico, precipitating the Dust Bowl.

-Nat Evans, July 2018

Flyover Country from Nat Evans on Vimeo.

This project is generously supported by the Portland Museum of Art. The Portland Museum of Art strives to engage audiences in a dialogue about the relevance of art and culture to our everyday lives and is committed to the stewardship and growth of the collection.

Nat Evans is a composer and artist based in Seattle, Washington. His interdisciplinary works range from site-specific events and installations to chamber music, scores for dance and film, conceptual works based in ecology and social practice, to meditations on everyday life.

His work is regularly presented across the United States and has been shown in Europe, South America, Australia and China. Evans has received numerous commissions including The Henry, Odeon Quartet, San Francisco MOMA, Seattle Art Museum, The City of Tomorrow, Portland Cello Project, ALL RISE, The Box Is Empty, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, among others.

Works and events by Evans have been featured on WNYC’s New Sounds and BBC3, as well as in LA WeeklyWIRED, the New York TimesTiny Mix TapesThe Believer and numerous other publications. His work has appeared in Seattle galleries Interstitial, SOIL, The Frye Art Museum, and Greg Kucera, and has been presented at Mediate Art Soundwave Biennial, Aqua Art Miami, NEPO 5k, and other festivals.

He studied music at Butler University with Michael Schelle, Craig Hetrick and Frank Felice.

🕯️ The dance show of the summer is Scapegoat Garden’s Liturgy|Order|Bridge. The Hartford-based company calls upon Black church traditions and ideas of faith, nature, fashion, and experimentation in their limited performance run June 20-22. Tickets available now, presented by SPACE at Mechanics’ Hall. 🕯️