Installation View. Image courtesy of Raven Halfmoon and Nino Mier Gallery.

‘The New Native’ by Raven Halfmoon @ Nino Mier Gallery

September 24, 2019

Raven Halfmoon exerts a strong affirmation of the indigenous “native” American spirit in her latest opening at Nino Mier titled The New Native. The splendor in accessing such contemporary art is in its admission to the universal effort of human culture towards the transcendent. It is toward reaching the unseen order, as William James described, which is eternally present in our midst, only to be recurrently hidden by the passage of time.

 

Here, Ms. Halfmoon effortlessly presents continuity to Western Fine Art in the wake of Nietzsche’s “death of God” through an ingenious addition of Indigenous sacredness, eloquently saturating the abyss of nihilism with the quiet whispers of ancient tradition which finds no reason for abdication despite its recent contact with Manifest Destiny. It is quite the phasic motion – of one tradition flailing in affirmation after its imperious loudness on the world-historical stage, and one which has calmly remained attuned to nature and its infinite complexity. The former has given the world riches, yet also massacres unimaginable by the latter, with its sacramental usage of clay which the artist is masterful to showcase in her craftsmanship.

 

Yet, Ms. Halfmoon, despite affirming her culture, finds friction to be necessary in her expression. And invariably so. The choice in the matter is in the direction of her momentum, that in the direction of positivity, or towards semblances of resentment for the world-historical condition she lives within. And, indisputably, Ms. Halfmoon is able to present a confrontational voice without a rasp of anger. She is, in other words, displaying efforts of gentility, thus dignifying her artistic expression while dialectically grounding us in a contemporaneously neglected presence in America – that of the Native.

 

It is to probe, with vitality, the goodness of this otherwise ensnarled interaction between two worldly cultures. And with a statement on identity, and even more boldly a footprint onto the global fine art stage, the Caddo via its muse is once more comfortable leaving its mythical cave to enter the world anew.

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