Anna Tsouhlarakis: Indigenous Absurdities


June 14 — September 10, 2023


MCA Denver
Denver, Colorado



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Installation shot from Indigenous Absurdities. Photo by Wes Magyar

Anna Tsouhlarakis: Indigenous Absurdities is an exhibition of new work by Boulder-based artist and 2021 Creative Capital Grantee Anna Tsouhlarakis. Centering Indigenous knowledge systems and ways of teaching as starting points, Tsouhlarakis’ work reframes the discourse around the construction of Native American identity. Through video, performance, sculpture, photography, and installation, Tsouhlarakis challenges and expands the boundaries of aesthetic and conceptual expectations for Native artmaking to reclaim and rewrite their definitions. Whether situated in history or the present day, jokes are rooted in truth. Amusing, illogical, and sometimes ridiculous, they reframe our understanding of the world around us. In Indigenous Absurdities, Anna Tsouhlarakis investigates the layering of truths and histories within comical stories and jokes, and how the anecdotes reflect Indigenous identity. “Indian humor” is a colloquial name for Native American jokes dealing with specific tribes, families, and, occasionally, specific people. Sourcing research from friends, family, and a broad network of Native communities across the US, Tsouhlarakis collects Indigenous jokes and stories and deconstructs them only to reassemble them as abstract drawings, video, and sculptures that highlight newfound complexities and understanding of Native American identity and expression. Indigenous Absurdities features newly commissioned works that are the culmination of Tsouhlarakis’ 2021 Creative Capital Award. The prestigious annual award supports the creation of groundbreaking, innovative projects to a select group of artists.

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