Time Carriers conjures a vision of many hands providing a framework of support, a fluid utopia where trust and movement go hand in hand. It evokes a time frame that both unites and collapses present, past, and future into an undulating and responsive single unit, something that could best be described as community or family. This idea seems especially appropriate when considering Jeffrey Gibson’s work, as it has always pushed to create kinship among unlikely partners.
Gibson’s artwork intermingles elements of traditional Native American art, art historical references, craft, and pop culture. A wide range of both historic and contemporary Native American symbols and objects including powwow regalia, 19th century parfleche containers, and drums are seamlessly merged with elements from Modernist geometric abstraction, Minimalism, the pattern and decoration of traditional textile practices, as well as techno, rave, and club culture.
Collaboration is often at the heart of Gibson’s practice; he frequently seeks out makers of traditional craft as a way to resist acculturation, support a strong legacy of making, and to build and honour community. Bold geometric shapes, brash colour schemes, and a fluid self-referencing and recycling of his imagery are combined with materials and ways of making that result in technically evocative and precise work. But what is most important to Gibson’s practice is his fierce commitment to giving space to social issues and the communities and individuals who are impacted by these issues. While Gibson documents the endless struggles and rare victories of our time, his work most urgently reimagines a future where one will be free of colonized and cultural restraints while remaining radically and colourfully connected to the past.
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