Please help us get the word out - your help would be invaluable in enabling Thibodeaux to share her insights during the opening of this groundbreaking exhibition. She is honored to have the opportunity to engage with attendees, discuss her creative process, and contribute meaningfully to the discourse surrounding the themes explored in "Blood Quantum."
Artist Statement - Cressandra Thibodeaux:
My recent project, "Blood Quantum," delves into the colonial construct designed to quantify one's "Indianness." This fraction-based measure, rooted in a flawed concept devoid of scientific credibility, has historically disenfranchised Indigenous communities, severing ties to their heritage, land, and culture. Through this photo series, coupled with interviews of Native individuals, I aim to challenge and encourage discussions about the enduring repercussions of this system on present-day Indigenous experiences.
The portraits are set against backgrounds reminiscent of a brown paper bag, allude to the historical 'Brown Paper Bag Test' and highlight colorism prevalent within Native communities. This exploration of identity and acceptance within the post-assimilation era mirrors the shared struggles of mixed-blood individuals within these spaces.
My aspiration with this project is to create an immersive experience for audiences, inviting them to engage and reflect on their own experiences. I aim to raise awareness about the ongoing challenges faced by Native tribes and individuals, inviting viewers to delve deeper into the complexities portrayed within each photograph.
Central to my artistic endeavor is the portrayal of what I term as a "rich Native interiority." Beyond the stereotypical narratives, I endeavor to depict the depth of emotions, intellectual richness, and diverse experiences that constitute the Native identity. While acknowledging the narratives of anguish prevalent in discussions about Native communities, I aim to present a more holistic and multi-dimensional portrayal of our existence.
I will also have a poetry reading, based on a few of the narratives, which were told to me during my project.