Nicholas Galanin's White Noise, American Prayer Rug, 2018

Nicholas Galanin
White Noise, American Prayer Rug, 2018

Painting

Wool, cotton

84 x 120 in

Unique

Ghiordes hand knotted tapestry

Photograph by Craig Smith

Included in the Whitney Biennial 2019

Collection of the Anchorage Museum

Woven in the image of static on a television set, Nicholas Galanin’s White Noise, American Prayer Rug offers a critical diagnosis of contemporary American life. Although prayer rugs typically serve as movable sites of devotion, this one probes American culture’s relationship with white noise, an acoustic vibration sometimes used to drown out unwanted sounds. Galanin, whose work often examines the complexities of contemporary Indigenous identity, culture, and representation, has identified race as a critical conceptual element of this exploration, pointing out that “whiteness as a construct has been used historically throughout the world to obliterate the voices and rights of generations of people and cultures regardless of complexion.” This other form of white noise, he asserts, has in recent years become a “source of increasing intolerance and hate.”

whitney.org/exhibitions/2019-Biennial?section=24#…

Also this artist description on Flickr: White Noise refers to a steady droning tones used to mask or obliterate unwanted sounds. The title of this work applies this term to the sources of American political power and American media creating constant noise in support of xenophobia. Whiteness as a construct has been used historically throughout the world to obliterate the voices and rights of generations of people and cultures regardless of complexion. This white noise is the source of increasing intolerance and hate in the United States as politicians, media, and citizens invoke America’s genocidal past attempting to mask and obliterate the reality of America’s past and it’s present. This White noise is produced by a kind of whiteness based on more than complexion, based on capital, blind belief and faith in itself, and fear of everything outside the lines it draws to enforce inclusion or exclusion under it’s laws. This is the American Prayer rug, a reflection of an image accompanying droning sound to distract us from our own suffering, from love, from land, from water, from connection; there is no space for prayer, only noise. www.flickr.com/photos/galanin/38480093676/in/date…

Ghiordes hand knotted tapestry

Photograph by Craig Smith

Included in the Whitney Biennial 2019

Collection of the Anchorage Museum… more

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