Indigenous Absurdities


Anna Tsouhlarakis is interested in challenging and stretching the boundaries of aesthetic and conceptual expectations to reclaim Native identity through video, performance, photography, and installation.

Artist Bio

“Indian humor” is a colloquial name for Native American jokes dealing with specific tribes, families, and, once in a while, a certain person. In Indigenous Absurdities, Anna Tsouhlarakis investigates the layering within a comical story or joke, and how the anecdote reflects the identity of an individual or group of people. Tsouhlarakis collects Indigenous jokes and stories and deconstructs them as part of an investigation in reforming an understanding of Native American identity and expression. The project combines multi-channel video, collage, and Native American oral traditions in an installation context to present moments of hilarity that highlight the complexity of Native individuals.


Award Year
2021
Status

In Progress

A Native American woman is standing in an art studio wearing a navy blue bandana, a grey shirt, and pearl earrings. Behind her is an abstract sculpture made out of IKEA remnants.

Anna Tsouhlarakis

Boulder, CO

Anna Tsouhlarakis is interested in challenging and stretching the boundaries of aesthetic and conceptual expectations to reclaim and rewrite Native definitions of making through video, performance, sculpture, photography, and installation. Using Indigenous epistemologies and pedagogies as starting points, Tsouhlarakis’s work reframes the discourse around the construction of Native American identity. Tsouhlarakis has received grants and fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Harpo Foundation, and the Native Arts & Culture Foundation, among others. She has participated in residencies including Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Yaddo, and was the Andrew W. Mellon Artist-in-Residence at Colorado College. Tsouhlarakis is of Greek descent and an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation.