"Squantum," a selection of works from the series "Rise" May 16 - 22, 2021 Jeremy Dennis
Artist Statement: Rise reflects upon the historical legacy of the Pequot War, King Philip's War, and the fear of indigenous people in New England and later throughout the United States. Fear, in this instance, comes from the acknowledgment of our continued presence, not as an extinct people, but as sovereign nations who have witnessed and survived four hundred years of colonization. Playing with recognizable zombie film and TV show iconography, Rise highlights parallels between the apocalyptic rising undead and popular misinformation of indigenous people as a vanished race. With the rise of the zombie motif in popular culture, the zombie may be interpreted as the great celebratory enemy, replacing the American Indian. Thus, Rise appropriates the aesthetic and concept of zombie apocalypse by replacing the gory zombie figure with the American Indian, whose simple presence causes terror. The images reflect an interpretation of an imagined future uprising based on the aftermath of colonization, steeped in both the popular imagination of non-indigenous people and the repressed desires of Native Communities to one day retake their territory. In the end, my personal belief is that Americans and Native Americans will never have another great war, but the fear non-the-less exists and this project confronts it by mixing the fear with humor once realized."