The solo exhibition “The Anthropophagic Effect” is the result of Jeffrey Gibson‘s period as artist-in-residence for the Department of Education and Public Engagement. The exhibition displays items from several Indigenous handcraft techniques and aesthetics, such as Southeastern river cane basket weaving, Algonquian birch bark biting and porcupine quillwork, alongside with Gibson’s new pieces. Produced with techniques that the artist learnt during his period in residence, these objects are involved in performances and other initiatives over the course of the exhibition at New Museum.
Gibson thinks of these items as means for indigenous communities to transmit their culture in time and claim its specificity. Not by chance, the showcase is named after Oswald de Andrade’s 1928 “Anthropophagic Manifesto” which stated that indigenous cultures could devour their colonizers’ ones as a way to reject Western domination and blend it to their own ends. The artist recovers traditional techniques to establish a contemporary narrative about them and open new perspectives for the future.