Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Beau Dick (1955-2017)

Yesterday's post was supposed to include details of Beau Dick's participation in Documenta 14's Athens platform. But just as I was about to post these details I received a text from someone who had visited Beau on the day he went to spirit and it didn't seem right to post information that some people needed to hear from somebody other than myself.

Beau Dick
Περφόρμανς, ΕΜΣΤ–Εθνικό Μουσείο Σύγχρονης Τέχνης (4ος όροφος), 11 π.μ.

I was not friends with Beau in the way people talked about friends prior to Facebook, but I knew who Beau was and he knew me as someone who wrote on art, who had questions he would sometimes indulge, and who he could talk with about hats, guitars...

A few years ago, in an effort to situate Beau in a eurowestern art historical context, I began to refer to him as our Joseph Beuys, a "social sculptor" who made what he would of materials, but also of more ephemeral systems, like those that link capital to private galleries, etc., a practice I stopped when I realized that Beau, and indeed my own research and writing, did not require this kind of alignment.

Roy Arden did a nice job of discussing Beau's work in a contemporary art context. As the curator of the CAG's 2004 Supernatural exhibition (a two person show featuring the work of Beau and the conceptual painter Neil Campbell), Roy gave us an essay that bears reading, or re-reading. Here it is.

The photo up top was taken while I was visiting the Sointula Art Shed last spring. It is more or less the same sunset Beau would have seen from his home at Alert Bay.

Strong winds, Beau. Prayers for your family.

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