Performance by James Luna

Work is a performance in which, after showing slides of First Nations people interspersed with slides related to outer space, Luna tells a narrative about meeting a girl on a reserve and talks about First Nations fiestas.

The following text is taken from Front Magazine, vol. VIII, no. 5, p. 9, May/June 1997:

James Luna is a multimedia installation and performance artist based on the La Jolla Indian Reservation in North County San Diego, California. Luna’s work critique the mythology of what it means to be “Indian” in contemporary American society. His pieces often deal with difficult issues affecting Indian communities (social-economic problems, substance abuse and cultural conflict), sometimes confronting the situation head-on and sometimes incorporating humour and lightheartedness as both balance and salve.

Luna’s performance include venues at the Detroit Institute for the Arts, the Scottsdale Centre for the Arts, The Whitney Museum of American Art and installation venues at the National Gallery of Canada, the Heard Museum, and at the New Museum of Contemporary art’s “Decade show,” which won for him the prestigious “Bessie Award.”

“It is my feeling that art work in the media of performance and installation offers an opportunity like no other for Indian people to express themselves without compromises in traditional art forms of ceremony, dance, oral traditions and contemporary thought. Within these (non-traditional) spaces, one can have a variety of media such as objects, sounds, video, slides, so that there is no limit in how and what is expressed.”

From Allow me to introduce myself by James Luna, Canadian Theatre Review 68.

This was Luna’s first performance in Vancouver.

Digitized video available through Western Front Archives upon research request.