Promise Me You Won’t Colonize Me (Mars)
On the Flagpole
SPACE is proud to raise artist Demian DinéYazhi´’s flag, PROMISE ME YOU WON’T COLONIZE ME (mars), 2014, as a part of FOR FREEDOMS 50 STATE INITIATIVE project.
In the words of the artists, “My billboard is an Indigenous critique of settler colonization through space exploration in a time of heightened awareness towards environmental degradation. My concerns of space conquest during this critical time of our human impact on this planet (resource extraction, overpopulation, pollution, overconsumption, and endangering other life forms), led me to question the western and european motivations of conquest, exploration, and ridiculous notions of ‘discovery.’ If other planets could indeed support human life, what bad behaviours and selfish tendencies do we bring to us?”
Demian DinéYazhi´ (born 1983) is an Indigenous Diné (Navajo) transdisciplinary artist born to the clans Naasht’ézhí Tábąąhá (Zuni Clan Water’s Edge) & Tódích’íí’nii (Bitter Water). Growing up in the colonized border town of Gallup, New Mexico, the evolution of DinéYazhi´s work has been influenced by his ancestral ties to traditional Diné culture and ceremony, matrilineal upbringing, the sacredness of land, and the importance of intergenerational knowledge. Through research, mining community archives, and social collaboration and activism, DinéYazhi´ highlights the intersections of Radical Indigenous Queer Feminist identity and political ideology while challenging the white noise of the contemporary art movement. DinéYazhi´ is the founder of the artist/activist initiative, R.I.S.E.: Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment, which is dedicated to the education, perseverance, & evolution of Indigenous art & culture. DinéYazhi´ also serves as co-editor of the zine Locusts: A Post-Queer Nation Zine. They are the recipient of the Henry Art Museum’s Brink Award 2017 and will have a solo exhibition opening at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA in March 2018.
Follow Demian DinéYazhi´ on Instagram – @heterogeneoushomosex…
photo credit: Justin Levesque