Episode 24. Interview with Merritt Johnson

Merritt Johnson is a multidisciplinary artist; working in sculpture, performance, video and painting. Her work explores survival from the perspective of a mixed Indigenous woman; engaging simultaneously with past/present/future, cultural camouflage, limited perception/resources, and the presence of violence (real and imagined).

"In devouring everything, we devour more than ourselves. The land is victim and survivor. Popular culture envisions land as a post-apocalyptic landscape filled with zombie fantasies (the New Romanticism), neglecting the colonial apocalypse this and and people of this hemisphere have already survived.  My work acknowledges land, sky, clouds and everything living, as survivors with agency, bent on continued existence. Images are redacted and obscured; objects bleed, leak, drip and sag, and are bound together." -Merritt Johnson

Here is the conversation with Merritt Johnson:

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Music on this episode provided by Phen Ray. Phen Ray (Stephen Murray) is a musician, producer, and father. Born and raised in Barbados, he lives and works in Vancouver BC, his sound is born out of a love for music from the fringes of culture and the heart of pop culture. Phen Ray fuses the most sincere elements of what draws us to pop music and the most basic intonations that revive the spirit of musical innovation… From a cabin by the sea on the urban west coast of Canada his compositions generate overtones more compelling to the listener than the sum of their parts -- it is this that makes them so powerful.

 

More about the artist:

Merritt Johnson exhibits and performs in traditional and non-traditional venues throughout North America. Her work is in numerous private collections in addition to the permanent collections at the Museum of Contemporary Native Art and the Birmingham Museum of Art. Johnson is the daughter of Kanienkehaka (Mohawk), Blackfoot, and North American settlers. She holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University, and an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art, she has taught for Emily Carr University of Art and Design since 2007.

Cleopocahontra. Merritt Johnson

Cleopocahontra. Merritt Johnson

Core Sample. Merritt Johnson

Core Sample. Merritt Johnson

Capital veil over diversion patterns (escaping the protectorate). Merritt Johnson

Capital veil over diversion patterns (escaping the protectorate). Merritt Johnson

Exorcising America: Not biting the hand that feeds you. Merritt Johnson
This is the eleventh video in the performance video series Exorcising America, by Merritt Johnson. Instructions and demonstrations are provided for not biting the hands that feed you. When living hand to mouth the incidence of injury due to bitten hands increases, so please use caution when practicing these exercises.

Follow the work of Merritt Johnson at www.flashbanggiveaway.com