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Media Release

Published: 08/30/2007

Famed Indigenous Artists Performs at Indian Pueblo Cultural Center

Albuquerque, NM, August 30, 2007—James Luna, internationally known performance artist, will present “Bet It All on the Red” at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center on Saturday, September 29 at 3:30pm. Luna was the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian’s representative for the Venice Biennale in 2005 and is one of the most recognized indigenous artists working today.   He is best known for his seminal work, “Artifact Piece,” which explores the ways Native people have been represented as ethnography or spectacle. Luna is often discussed as one of the canonical artists of Native American art.

In a rare appearance in New Mexico, Luna will explore contemporary Native issues and concerns through performance art. “Bet it All on the Red” will consist of a series of short pieces including, the “Feast Ritual.” Highly ritualistic and carefully composed, “Feast Ritual” documents the ceremonial and ritualistic aspects of Native foods while applying these processes to contemporary Native health issues. In this piece, James Luna prepares his lunch, which includes the commodity food Spam, slowly, almost sacredly, as he wordlessly recalls the importance of food and ceremony among Native communities. 

This performance is part of the IPCC’s current exhibit, “Take a Bite out of this! From Corn to Commodity,” which explores the impact of food, agriculture and wellness on indigenous identities, cultures and memories. The exhibit itself is part of a series of programming hosted by the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center titled “Community Connections: Native Food and Wellness” that includes: collaborative lectures between IPCC, National Hispanic Cultural Center, and the Pueblo of Acoma’s Haak’u Museum; panel discussions; community based projects, a summer camp (“Dig It!”) and many other exciting events and activities. The detailed activity listing is on or call 505-843-7270 for more information.

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