Eric-Paul Riege Performs in “Standout” Exhibition at Bard

Eric-Paul Riege performs in the galleries at Bard College’s Hessel Museum of Art.
photo by Karl Rabe, ARTnews

At the opening of Indian Theater: Native Performance, Art, and Self-Determination Since 1969, a new exhibition at Bard College’s Hessel Museum of Art, Eric-Paul Riege performed within an array of suspended textile-based sculptures, as ARTnews’s Alex Greenberger reports:

At one point, he knelt down on the ground, using his hands to grab the tassels of one work and pull it toward him, its large fiber circle tilting away from the ground as he did so. The sculpture’s threads made hushed crunches alongside the jingles of Riege’s outfit.

The Diné artist’s pieces were part of a series called jaatłoh4Ye’iitsoh, which he has said can be translated to “earring for the big god.” He’s stated that all his art is active, even when it seems static, thanks to the gravity that holds it down to earth. These are performance pieces, even though they appear simply to be sculptures.

This contradiction, Greenberger adds, runs throughout many of the works in the Candice Hopkins–curated exhibition. In his piece, “Indigenous Art History Gets a Rewrite, With an Emphasis on Performance, in a Standout Show Upstate,” Greenberger looks at standout works from the show by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Kay WalkingStick, and others.