Indigenous Showcase – Through the Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film
$12 General Admission
Through the Repellent Fence follows art collective Postcommodity as they strive to construct Repellent Fence, a two-mile long outdoor artwork that straddles the U.S.-Mexico border. Postcommodity consists of three Native American artists who “put land art in a tribal context.” Aided by the communities on both sides of the border in 2015 the artists installed a series of 28 huge inflatable spheres emblazoned with an insignia known as the “open eye” that has existed in Indigenous cultures from South America to Canada for thousands of years. The spheres were evenly spaced apart and extended north and south of the border a mile in each direction. “It’s a metaphorical suture stitching together cultures that have inhabited these lands long before borders were drawn.”
The film provides an intimate glimpse into the arduous process behind creating an ambitious artwork that will give voice to the shared history and enduring culture of Indigenous societies that have made the region their home for thousands of years before a border ever divided it. Woven throughout this narrative thread are lush scenes using stunning cinematography to absorb viewers into striking land art environments that have preceded Post Commodity’s work. Scenes with other artists and intellectuals working in the land art realm provide context and insight as well. These include scenes with Chris Taylor of Texas Tech University’s Land Arts of the American West program, writer Lucy Lippard and Matt Coolidge of the Center for Land Use Interpretation.
Through the Repellent Fence is an adventure in the artistic process blended with a road trip of discovery, visiting sites and diverse perspectives to explore how land art can generate community interaction and perceptual shifts in how we interpret, engage and draw inspiration from our natural world.
Accompanying this film is a Nisqually Spring Break Youth Film Camp short film, made in conjunction with Sky Bear Media and the Olympia Film Collective, written by Jeff Barehand, directed by Russell Brooks, and crewed by Nisqually Youth.
Field of Dreams
(Russell Brooks, US, 2016, 6 min)
A young boy finds solace on the baseball field and the courage to bridge the widening gap with his father.
“This is a border story that has not been told: Indigenous artists giving voice to the shared history of Indigenous people who have traveled back and forth for thousands of years, reminding the world that being Indigenous does not stop at a border. The art they created is beautiful, participatory and brings people together. It’s an art project at its finest, invigorating the public, finding common ground and reinforcing the bond between people and place.”