Are Indians in America's DNA?
A conversation between Dr. Monika Siebert and Marina Tyquiengco on: Americans, National Museum of the American Indian, January 18, 2018–2022, Washington, D.C. Monika Siebert, Indians Playing Indian: Multiculturalism and Contemporary Indigenous Art in North America. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2015. The 2018 National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) exhibition Americans, curated by Paul Chaat Smith and Cécile R. Ganteaume, takes on the trope of Indians within contemporary popular culture as well as history. Americans presents a plethora of popular images of Native Americans and expounds on well-known figures and histories involving Native Americans: Thanksgiving, Pocahontas, the Battle of Little Bighorn, and the Trail of Tears. I first viewed the exhibition in Fall 2018 and was transfixed by the curators’ expansive and thoughtful approach to the proliferation of stereotypical Indian images. Later, after revisiting Dr. Monika Siebert’s book, Indians Playing Indian: Multiculturalism and Contemporary Indigenous Art in North America (2015), I thought back to the exhibition and potential overlaps between the exhibition and her book. A conversation with Siebert about Americans seemed fitting as her book includes a full chapter on the first iteration of the permanent exhibitions of the NMAI.
Copyright © 2019 University of Alabama Press. This article first appeared in Contemporaneity: Historical Presence in Visual Culture 8, no. 1 (2019).
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Tyquiengco, Marina and Monika Siebert. "Are Indians in America’s DNA." Contemporaneity: Historical Presence in Visual Culture 8, no. 1 (2019): 80-97. https://doi.org/10.5195/contemp.2019.288.