project

Fallen Fruit Present "Power of People, Power of Place" at Bemis Center



Aug 06 2015 - Oct 10 2015


LOCATION

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts
724 S 12th Street
Omaha, NE

FORMAT

Exhibition

Discipline

Visual Arts

As artists, we are interested in how cultural ideas are communicated through these archives. In the nineteenth century, museums and libraries were established in major cities of the United States. The model of collecting was encyclopedic, meaning that the content of the collections represented the division of the world into categories: Ancient, European, Asian, Pre-Columbian, Native American, Modern, and so forth. These collections became disassociated from their original geographical and cultural contexts and became tools for public appreciation from a presumably shared worldview. A history is often constructed from objects selected through the perspective of the cultural elite; subtle meanings are often lost in interpretations, misunderstandings, and imperialistic points-of-view that convey a sense of ownership of another culture.


Long ago, Omaha was declared a sovereign region by independent settlers who crossed the Missouri River from the east into disputed territory. Historically, these presumed founders described themselves as adventurers, discoverers, missionaries, pioneers, freedom fighters, or searchers. As contemporary artists, we wonder: How does a place that was wild and free become a place ruled by prescribed democracy, with independence, liberty, and justice for all—except for the indigenous, nomadic, tribal people who lived there for thousands of years?


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