Activating Oga Po’ogeh Land Acknowledgment

 

By Kathleen Wall (Jemez Pueblo/White Earth Chippewa)

On exhibit through August 31, 2024. Video airing every evening at sunset.

Bringing community engagement to installation art, Kathleen Wall’s Activating Oga Po’ogeh Land Acknowledgment creates a space for the public to think deeply and critically about the places and spaces in which we reside, asking questions about Indigenous place-based histories and ongoing relations, Western concepts of land ownership, and the ongoing legacies of settler colonialism in Santa Fe.

Wall’s goal for the project is to construct “conditions for people to encounter land acknowledgement communally. The work takes the land acknowledgment to the land itself — outdoors in a public space.”

The multi-media sculpture, constructed with metal frames and concrete ears of corn, is brought to life through video installations of community members walking across Oga Po’ogeh. In this, Wall animates the Railyard, speaking to recent trends towards land acknowledgements and their inadequacy in reconciling the lasting effects of dispossession. Foregrounding tangible movements and meaningful actions, Wall asks us to embed ourselves in the land, activate our own sense of place, and think about what steps we can make in our own lives to reconcile these histories.

Support for this project comes from the City of Santa Fe Arts & Culture Commission, the Institute of American Indian Arts’ Social Engagement Residency Program, and the Santa Fe Railyard Community Corporation.