Artifact Piece_Brittney Johnson

The “Artifact Piece[s]” we saw today in class, versions by both James Luna and Erica Lord, were very interesting and in direct dialogue with the museum, which I like.  Placing themselves inside the museum case as if they were objects was very stimulating for museum visitors.  Clearly James Luna’s work was more focused on his identity as Native American and is a response to the pre-NAGPRA operations of many museums.  A deserved response in the 80’s.  Erica Lord’s revisitation is much more focused on her personal identity and how she both conforms to and reacts against stereotypes  as not only  a Native American and European, but also a woman.  I felt Luna’s work was more political and also more interesting in response to how museums would display American Indians with many, possibly degrading, informational signs and personal objects; but I enjoyed Lord’s work more in relation to myself.

It is in response to Erica Lord’s more recent and more relational work that I would like to think about what I would put it my own “Artifact Piece.” I would definitely wear my wedding dress, since it is a reflection of world-wide European societal norms and values.  It also shows the fulfillment of one of societies’ stages of finding a mate and procreating in the interest of perpetuating the human race.  To which I would add an informational plaque stating that the person inside does not intend to have children as a believer in the philosophy of anti-procreationism.  I would certainly want to display an assortment of my favorite books, movies, and my ipod- to give the case a more time-capsule type of feel, as to what life was like in general for a person of my generation (this would probably take up a lot of room).  I would probably display my degrees from CU, with a note explaining the role of higher education as a type of initiation ritual for upper-middle class Caucasians.  I’m not sure what else you could fit in a case with a person, but I like the idea of attempting to display who you are and how society influences you particularly, into one exhibit case.

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