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Sun, Aug 20


Center for Public Secrets

TOTEM: As Archive

Through this series we will examine the function and role of monumentality, consider how the archive functions in the restoration of historic structures, how tourism on Route 66 has shaped this site, and look at similar artist-built environments in the area.

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TOTEM: As Archive
TOTEM: As Archive

Time & Location

Aug 20, 2023, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Center for Public Secrets, 573 S Peoria Ave, Tulsa, OK 74120, USA

About the event

August 20, 6pm - 8pm (Doors open at 5PM): The Center for Public Secrets, 573 S. Peoria Ave. Tulsa, OK

Panel presentation with Pablo Barrera (Associate Curator at OK Contemporary), Ashanti Chaplin (Artist, Tulsa Artist Fellowship), Yatika Starr Fields (Osage/Cherokee/Creek painter and muralist, Tulsa Artist Fellowship), and Graham Lee Brewer (Cherokee, Investigative reporter at NBC News covering Indigenous communities, President of the Indigenous Journalist Association).

This lecture will develop a narrative that surrounds some of the more specific visual themes found at the Totem Pole Park: Native representation, monumentality, tourism, and the archive. We will hear from artists, curators, and journalists, working in Oklahoma about how they are presently addressing these themes in their work. We will see the history of Native representation, beginning with the photography of Andrew Curtis and the legacy of the myths surrounding the “vanishing Native” that have plagued the country for over a century. We will also look at the role that tourism has played in Native representation, and hear about the impacts on Native communities that straddle Route 66. We will look at monumentality as a theme specifically as it relates to memorializing marginalized populations, and how we can better think about how to uplift the communities that these monuments seek to commemorate.

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