In partnership with artist Jeffrey Gibson, and in anticipation of his 2024 exhibition at MASS MoCA, Denise Markonish, MASS MoCA’s senior curator and director of exhibitions, will initiate a series of in-person and virtual convenings for Indigenous artists, curators, performers, and writers, in collaboration with Forge Project (forgeproject.com). During these convenings, Gibson, Markonish, and their fellow participants will co-conceive the themes of the exhibition, which will serve as the project’s curatorial framework.
Markonish’s motivation for this curatorial approach is to challenge the common practice of solitary scholarship by inviting voices from multiple disciplines to shape what is made, written, and experienced as part of Gibson’s exhibition—a new commission for the museum’s signature football-field-sized Building 5 Gallery. This approach also positions Indigenous voices at the forefront of the exhibition’s development and realization, supporting decolonial efforts at MASS MoCA and across the field. It is the desire of Gibson and Markonish to enact a model that does not center a single artist or curator but offers, instead, a way of working towards new ideas and practices that can only be achieved through collective thought.