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Keli Mashburn (Osage)


Wah.shka, a video art piece accompanied by large format photography, opens at the international venue of the Venice Biennale May 11-May 19, 2017. Co-curated by Mary Bordeaux and Nancy Marie Mithlo, the exhibit captures the essence of the extraordinary landscapes of the West and Great Lakes areas through immersive visual storytelling. Wah.shka addresses land, language, urban development, and the violent displacement of Native people, offering an intellectual space in which to tell stories that matter, from an Indigenous perspective.

Wah.shka is an extension of the successful 2015 Biennale exhibit Ga ni tha sponsored by the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, the Canada Arts Council and The Osage Nation Foundation. The featured artists Marcella Ernest and Keli Mashburn are longtime collaborators in film and video productions. Ernest is a Native American (Ojibwe) interdisciplinary artist known for her experimental films and video performances that combine electronic media, sound design, film, and photography in large-scale projections that articulate the public self through sight and sound. Mashburn grew up on a ranch located within the Osage Reservation of northeastern Oklahoma. Working in a traditional darkroom since 1998, she employs various experimental techniques to produce black and white prints that explore the realm between physical place and personal myth. Together, the artists bring twenty years of experience working in related artistic communities and projects to the piece.


The Wah.shka exhibit is made possible by the generous support from the Autry Museum and Occidental College.