Edgar Heap of Birds: Born from Sharp Rocks
April 12 – June 12 1986
In his window installation Born From Sharp Rocks, Edgar Heap of Birds constructed a way of informing the public about Native American protests while at the same time gaining some small protection against further abuses. To this end, the exhibition encompassed a variety of media — paintings, language installations, works on paper, videotapes — for the artist, access to these media was a protection just as arrow points (sharp rocks) had been a protection for his ancestors.
Edgar Heap of Birds offered an exemplary model of political art practice, combining didacticism with traditional aesthetic forms. His work stressed that minority artists are not simply limited to assimilation or separatism, and proposed that a rather more valuable strategy is to place the sharply pointed protest squarely at the center of the mainstream culture.