Video Excerpt: Dreams (Part 1: Return to Eden), 2013-2015. Runtime: 8:08; Full Video: 30:47
Photographs: Dreams (No.1-9), Digital C-Prints: dimensions variable.
Ryan Brewer’s Dreams series consists of photography, video, and objects created from a private performance ritual set in the Mojave Desert in October 2013. For the duration of the ritual, Brewer works closely with Marcus Barela, a LA-based drag artist with Native American and Latino roots. The project captures the duo’s travels from Los Angeles to the Mojave Desert, where they set up a simple stone shelter and adorn it with various fetish objects, including Na’ngasohu, a kachina doll that symbolically guides the journey and is the physical impetus for Brewer and Barela’s transformative exchange.
Brewer and Barela, both queer yet ethnically differing artists, proceed to paint one another with the markings of the kachina, imbuing each other with invocations (or omens) of historical horrors and modern manifestations of Manifest Destiny…Thus proposing a romantic predicament of impossible reconciliation.
Through mutual transformation, the work also took interest in the performance of masculinity as applied in Western film and mythology (Western and Road genres, specifically) and the queering of these tropes through the honoring of two-spirited people as healers and visionaries.
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