"Born from Sharp Rocks"
April 12 - May 28 1986

"In his exhibition "Sharp Rocks" (from which The New Museum installation is drawn), Heap of Birds has constructed a way of informing the public about Native American protests and at the same time gaining some small protection against further abuses. To this end, the exhibition encompasses a variety of media-paintings, language installations, works on paper, videotapes-for Heap of Birds understands that all forms of modern cultural communication must be made accessible if the Native American voice is to be heard. For him access to these media is protection just as arrow points (sharp rocks) were protection for his ancestors.

Edgar Heap of Birds then offers an exemplary model of political art practice, combining didacticism with traditional aesthetic forms. Moreover, his work stresses that for minority artists the alternatives are not simply limited to assimilation or separatism. Rather the more valuable strategy is to place the sharply pointed protest squarely at the center of the mainstream culture."

Courtesy the Artist and New Museum