Survivance - Hock e Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds - Our Red Nations Were Always Green

Our Red Nations Were Always Green

Hock e Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds

North America is home to over 1,000 Native Nations. Each of these large and precious communities is incredibly humble and respectful to our host, the natural world. The citizens of these Native Nations express great care towards the planet and defer to Earth as the more important entity. As in the sacred pipe ceremony, the Earth should always smoke first. Hock e Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds, Our Red Nations Were Always Green, 2021, primary print.

May 2021

My 7’ x 30’ forty-eight-piece mono print installations exist in two combined forms: a set of twenty-four primary prints accompanied by a set of twenty-four ghost prints. The primary mono prints are the first pull from the print making plate, and the ghost prints are executed from the second plate pull, which also enlist the use of varied colors of paper.

Hock e Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds, Our Red Nations Were Always Green, 2021, ghost print.

The primary mono prints are strong, bright, and bold, thus articulating the way Indigenous life develops, grows, and survives in spite of the American empire. The faint color, blurred text, and sometimes obscured image treatment of the ghost mono prints represents the United States of America’s refusal to accept Native Indigenous Nations, their history, and the brutal holocaust perpetrated on our Nations by the ruling republic.

The following four mono print installations seek to challenge and inform the republic and its citizens. This body of work, proving our aboriginal survival, can begin to be felt from the four titles: Columbus Day, Why is Immigration Dictated by Foreigners, Our Red Nations Were Always Green, and Water is Your Only Medicine.

Columbus Day was created in response to research conducted from a trip to the Dominican Republic, as well as many years of empathy towards the immence destruction brought by Columbus to this indigenous hemisphere.

Why is Immigration Dictated by Foreigners comments on the tragic actions of the US republic in harming so many people and children of color. The behavior to restrict and penalize those involved in immigrating is such a paradox when one considers that all the US law makers (including the former president) are themselves foreign to Turtle Island.

The title Water is Your Only Medicine comes from the Standing Rock siege to protect wonderful rivers and our renewal of existence via water. As we begin as gestated children in the womb to drinking Mahpe (water) and growth of exquisite life through its daily irreplaceable support, water must remain our primary homage.

Survivance is a collaboration between the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and e-flux Architecture.

Indigenous Issues & Indigeneity, Migration & Immigration, Colonialism & Imperialism, Nature & Ecology
USA, Printmaking, Water & The Sea
Return to Survivance

Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds (Cheyenne and Arapaho Nation) has worked as an artist, activist, and teacher. Based in Oklahoma City and on tribal land for four decades, Heap of Birds’s artwork confronts unacknowledged histories of state and settler violence against Native communities in the United States.


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