WE ARE IN CRISIS
We Are in Crisis suggests that moments of “crisis” can be a positive if they awaken us to the need for change and inspire action. Winter Count developed this “gratitude film,” as part of its opposition to the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline, which if built would pass through lands and waters sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.
The aerial footage in this work includes views of a temporary encampment at the Standing Rock reservation, which became a global focal point for grassroots resistance to the pipeline. For the ICA, they added a new element. The moccasins acknowledge the artists’ elders, reinforce their connection to viewers standing at the ICA, and offer tribute to “the humble resilience of the Indigenous people of the Plains in the face of resource extraction.”
We Are in Crisis, 2016. Single channel video (color, sound), 3:02 minutes. 13 pairs of leather moccasins, courtesy of Cannupa Hanska Luger
Cannupa Hanska Luger, Dylan McLaughlin, Ginger Dunnill, Nicholas Galanin, Merritt Johnson
“As Winter Count, we bring together our minds as artists to cultivate gratitude and respect for water, land, and the interdependence of all things living in this world. As artists we tell stories, stories learned from each other, from land, water, and all our relatives. We are listening, we are watching, we are holding up reflectors, waving flags, singing the horizon, and telling the story of how we are now. As artists we are making visions and asking how we can be, what we can make for our children, and our grandchildren’s children.” —Winter Count
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU AS AN ARTIST?
Winter Count is a continually expanding union of artists cultivating awareness, respect, honor, and protection for land and water, for all the living things that have lived here, and for all the living things to come. The work weaves together an evolving group of artists from diverse ancestry and cultures who concentrate their efforts to honor and protect water and land.
WHAT DOES THE WORD “DECLARATION” MEAN TO YOU?
Declaration is not creating meaning but finding the meaning that already exists. Winter Count engages this meaning to invite processes of belonging, clarity of place.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO BE SHOWING YOUR WORK AT THIS MOMENT IN HISTORY? IN THIS LOCATION?
It is crucial to continue to hold space in today’s political climate and near geographic locations which make policy. By participating in ICA’s launch, the community in the area can engage with We Are In Crisis to remember how natural cycles of life are disrupted by the extraction and transportation of what we have come to call resources from the land. And to spark further acknowledgement that the need to protect water and land is increasing in every part of the world.
Est. Turtle Island, 2016
Winter Count is an artist’s collective fostering awareness, respect, and protection of the planet.
The group’s collaborators include Declaration artist Cannupa Hanska Luger, as well as artists Ginger Dunnill, Dylan McLaughlin, Merritt Johnson, Nicholas Galanin, Rob Lundberg, Demian Dinéyazhi and Laura Ortman. Their work engages with land and water under current threat by extractive industry, coming together as a collective to cultivate gratitude and respect for water, land, and the interdependence of all things living in this world.
Select exhibitions include: Artists Space in New York (2017); Reed College in Portland, Oregon (2017); Washington Project for the Arts in Washington DC (2017); The Museum of Capitalism in Oakland, California (2017); The Autry Museum in Los Angeles (2017); Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico (2017).