The Hoffman Gallery at Lewis & Clark College presents Future Memories of This Land: The Confluence Project, Indigenous Counter-Narratives, and Maya Lin’s Counter-Monuments, an exhibition that brings together works by contemporary Indigenous artists with selected archival materials from the Confluence Project, a project reconsidering the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-6), a foundational “discovery” narrative of the US, from an Indigenous perspective. In doing so, Future Memories of this Land considers how the Confluence Project intersects with today’s conversations on monuments, decolonization, and social justice.
Co-initiated in the early 2000s by tribal representatives and community activists, the Confluence Project’s goals have been materialized by celebrated artist Maya Lin, in a series of earthworks on six significant sites along five hundred miles of the Columbia River. Encompassing extensive land restoration, these works foreground the ecological unfolding of the region and highlight 15,000+ years of Indigenous land stewardship. Renowned as the designer of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC, Lin suggests that her “memory works” “invite people to think”. The Confluence sites are resonant place-keepers for the past, present, and future generations of the Indigenous Tribes of the Columbia River system.
The Confluence Project extends beyond an act of commemoration to encompass 20+ years of public gatherings, outreach and education programs. This exhibition juxtaposes selections from its archives with artworks by some of the most acclaimed Indigenous artists in the US, whose practices raise urgent questions around cultural and linguistic self-determination, water preservation, land reclamation, and Indigenous futures. Taking place on a college campus named after Lewis and Clark, the exhibition is accompanied by a public program to generate opportunities for critical discussion and collective reflection. Organized in collaboration with the Native Student Union, these events will take place in person and by zoom.
Curated by Lucy Cotter with Steph Littlebird.
Contributing artists: Sky Hopinka, Gail Tremblay, Lillian Pitt, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Lehuauakea, Adam Khalil, Jason Clark, Ka’ila Farrell-Smith, Joe Feddersen, Shirod Younker, Bobby Mercier, Annelia Hillman pue-leek-la’ and Natalie Kirk Moody.