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Natalie Ball

Page 1 | Biography

"June 12 & 13, 1987" Mapping Coyote Black inst.
"June 12 & 13, 1987" Mapping Coyote Black inst.
Mapping Coyote Black is an immersive installation that employs deconstructed quilts as an essential element. Critical to the narrative of the installation is Coyote. Coyote is famous. Everyone knows that Coyote is a trickster; intelligent, powerful and at times Coyote plays the fool. I offer Coyote to viewers as a woman, the avatar of myself as artist. She is independent, shameless, hungry, able to switch forms and she has all Coyote’s traditional qualities and more. In my installation, she signifies what cannot be contained by performances of gender, race, and ethnicity. Her visual voice pieces together historical and lived experiences into speculative narratives. These narratives engage political fantasy with fluid concepts of time.
Clutch Your Powwow Pearls, Mapping Coyote Black
Clutch Your Powwow Pearls, Mapping Coyote Black
Through this installation’s content, Coyote tells stories where she is the catalyst (she would say ‘star‘). I am not only native, I am also black. To addresses the intersection of blackness and indianness I employ Coyote. Mapping Coyote Black invents the future through the past, reimagining and tricking you into seeing a new visual genealogy.
Clutch Your Powwow Pearls, close-up
Clutch Your Powwow Pearls, close-up
June 12 & 13, 1872
June 12 & 13, 1872
Dancers Kakols, Circa Indian inst.
Dancers Kakols, Circa Indian inst.
I am disrupting the mainstream definition of Indian, a definition too limited for the complexity of Native lives. Mapping Coyote Black is an installation that engages theories that challenge mainstream ideas of indigeneity, race and ethnicity; specifically lives, like my own, at the intersection of native and black. Native lives and black lives are often lived within racial intersections that remain hidden or unacknowledged for various reasons. This installation challenges assumptions about the limits of indigeneity and blackness and engages the viewer through mapping, refusal, desire, revenge, and haunting. My installation creates a new auto ethnographic narrative, a narrative mapping of untold histories that lends itself to new possible futures.
Circa Indian is a chronological installation that carries collective tribal history and individual experiences from the 1800’s to current, using textiles, painting, and dolls. The thematic focus are the women participants of the Modoc Ghost Dance ceremonies of the 1860’s whom are depicted at important stages of the ceremony; gathering, dance, singing, and rest.
Circa Indian, installation view
Circa Indian, installation view
100 years since the dances, quilting was introduced to my family as a Sioux-Modoc intertribal exchange in the 1960’s. Now, 150 years later, the dancers have visually re-emerged to continue my genealogy, solidifying the past with the present. The figurative sculpture embodies story to transition between each painting in support of the installation thesis of locating and dissolving the boundaries of Indian art, history, and identity.
Portland, OR
North America


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