Native American James Luna Analysis

902 Words4 Pages
In the discussion of Native America, the representation of identity plays a large role in defining meaning to either a particular work or group. In the same way that we may look at ancient Roman architecture and attempt to construct an identity for a civilization and the individuals that made up that particular society. We use artifacts and art to help us define how groups of ancient civilizations looked and acted. The voices of these lost generations become lost or muted, as we as the viewers and interpreters are giving these objects meanings. This theme of reinterpreting meaning in art plays a large role in the work of contemporary artist James Luna. Coming from a Lusieño and Mexican-American background he focuses on how Native American…show more content…
In his work he tackles a variety of issues such as drug abuse, education, cultural appropriation and the mixing of racial identities (Weintraub, 97). He tackles these through his art in ways that incorporate the viewer directly into his performances and installations. The viewer is as important as the piece itself in some of his works. Luna describes himself as “more of a social artist” rather than a “political artist” (Weintraub 99). This sentiment is evident in his work as the themes explored transcend the political sphere and are deeply ingrained in a personal understating in relation to societal perceptions and…show more content…
In addition to changes in clothes the viewers were “allowed to take a Polaroid” with either the artist or the cutouts but were required to also leave a photo for the artist. (Blocker 72). It was all part of Luna’s slogan of the piece “Take a picture, leave a picture.” The piece has two versions, one performative piece where Luna is standing and encouraging the viewer of take pictures with him while in the other version it is more of an exhibit as described above. Both versions contain the elements of performance and interaction with the

More about Native American James Luna Analysis

Open Document