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Jeffrey Gibson | Because Once you Enter My House, It Becomes Our House

A monumental sculpture by renowned artist Jeffrey Gibson (Mississippi Choctaw-Cherokee), the title, Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House, comes from a song Gibson associates with nightclubs that have provided haven and community especially for LGBTQ+ people and BIPOC.

The ziggurat form references the earthen architecture of the ancient Mississippian city of Cahokia, which flourished in the seventh through fourteenth centuries, well before European contact. The installation will be adorned with phrases advocating for Indigenous space and culture and wheat-pasted posters co-created by Gibson and artists Eric-Paul Riege (Diné), Luzene Hill (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), and Dana Claxton (Hunkpapa Lakota).

Jeffrey Gibson’s vibrantly patterned work addresses his Choctaw-Cherokee heritage as well as his queer identity, and the aesthetics and biases associated with those identity markers. He works across painting, sculpture, video, performance, and installation art. He draws on Indigenous process and materials, and queer histories that use camp aesthetics as a critical strategy to deny any romanticizing of Indigenous cultures. By exaggerating these aesthetics Gibson forges conversations that transcend binary thinking. Merging styles and historical references, Gibson states, “I have continued to think about my practice as encompassing the past and present while considering the future.”

Gibson has invited Riege and Hill to stage performances on and around the installation. Additionally, he invited Claxton to adapt one of her photographs, titled Lasso, to a monumental scale as a billboard which will be on view in the Sculpture Park by June 1. The installation opens with Riege’s performance on Friday June 4th from 12-4pm.

Jeffrey Gibson (b. 1972) earned a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MA from the Royal College of Art, London. His work has been featured in recent solo exhibitions at the Denver Art Museum and the New Museum, New York, and was included in the 2019 Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial, as well as more recently at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. A 2019 MacArthur Fellowship recipient, Gibson is a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

This project was originally commissioned by Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City. VIA Art Fund is the commissioning sponsor.


Fiber and performance artist Eric-Paul Riege will stage a temporary installation and performance on and around Jeffrey Gibson’s monumental sculpture Because Once You Enter My House It Becomes Our House at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.
Friday, June 4, 2021 12-4 PM
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PLATFORM 28: Dana Claxton, Lasso
For Jeffrey Gibson's Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House, Gibson invited Dana Claxton and fellow Indigenous artists to perform and create new artwork on and around this installation.

For PLATFORM 28, Dana Claxton (Hunkpapa Lakota/Sioux, based in Vancouver) adapts one of her photographs to a monumental scale as a billboard in deCordova’s Sculpture Park. With sly humor and references from film and television, she subverts oppressive stereotypes of Indigenous people and confronts how they perpetuate the violence of colonization. Emphasizing Indigenous survival, Claxton frequently pictures friends, and colleagues in her work and styles them in clothing and designs that integral to Lakota Sioux culture.

For additional information, please visit the following link.