Museum of Indian Arts & Culture Presents "Horizons: Weaving Between the Lines with Diné Textiles“
The horizon line is both a point of connection between sky and earth and a separation of space. Horizons: Weaving Between the Lines with Diné Textiles at Museum of Indian Arts & Culture (MIAC) explores the connections between weaving and photography as modes of engagement with place. By situating these two media in conversation, this exhibition presents each as a way of seeing and knowing Dinétah, the Navajo homeland, emphasizing the land-based and relational practices of Diné (Navajo) weaving. Horizons is on view July 16, 2023, through June 2, 2024.
Horizons: Weaving Between the Lines with Diné Textiles showcases more than 30 textiles and related items from the extensive collection at MIAC. Historical and contemporary weavings will be displayed alongside materials, tools, digital prints, photographs, and other immersive media.
“As forms of visual storytelling, Diné weaving and photography are created in collaboration with one’s surroundings,” said Rapheal Begay (Diné), photographer and Horizons co-curator. “Diné Bikéyah is not only our home but is also a source of inspiration for design, color, and connection to the past, present, and future. Our reciprocal relationship to land, language, and memory reflects our creativity and resilience as five-fingered beings.”
Individually and collectively, the cultural belongings and artworks on view tell multiple stories. They reveal the material traces of artistic innovation and creative expression that have been overlooked until now. By challenging the colonial contexts of collection, preservation, and display, the Horizons curatorial team offers a new interpretation of MIAC’s historic collection. As Chair of the exhibition’s Advisory Committee, fifth-generation textile artist Lynda Teller Pete (Diné) notes, “I’ve always felt as though MIAC was reciprocal, welcoming the exchange of ideas.” Placed in dialogue with contemporary works and perspectives, Horizons provides an opportunity for Diné communities to reconnect with the living legacies of their ancestors.
“There was once a time that we wove for one another—pieces of clothing created to protect the wearer from harm,” said Kevin Aspaas (Diné, fiber artist and weaver). “It is important for our weavers to know their lineage, to know where they came from.”
Through the exhibition and its accompanying publication from the Museum of New Mexico Press, Horizons strives to advance new interpretive frameworks that specifically work with, and towards, decolonial and community-oriented methodologies. Co-curators Dr. Hadley Jensen and Rapheal Begay (Diné) are working in collaboration with an Advisory Committee of five Diné artists, educators, and scholars, including Lynda Teller Pete, Kevin Aspaas, Larissa Nez, Tyrrell Tapaha, and Darby Raymond-Overstreet.
Created by weavers for weavers, this exhibition is grounded in Diné knowledges, lifeways, and cultural practices. Shaped by the voices of contemporary weavers and cultural practitioners, Horizons invites a deeper understanding of Diné artistry and ways of knowing, past, present, and future.
This exhibition is made possible through support from France A. Córdova and Christian J. Foster; the Terra Foundation for American Art; Tom and Mary James, founders of the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art; Shiprock Santa Fe; the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs; and the Museum of New Mexico Foundation.