The Long Conversation:
Dyani White Hawk & Jovan C. Speller
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Sticher / TuneIn
On their collaboration in Choosing Home: A Right, A Privilege, An Act of Tresspass at the Walker Art Center
Jovan C. Speller’s work on memory, myth, and family history in rural North Carolina
Dyani White Hawk and the presence of language, land, and history in LISTEN
Artist sites for Dyani White Hawk and Jovan C. Speller
Video clips from the Braids video collaboration and Dyani White Hawk’s LISTEN
Twin Cities Public Television video on Jovan C. Speller and the Choosing Home event
Dyani White Hawk’s She Gives exhibition at Plains Art Museum
5 Plain Questions podcast with Dyani White Hawk
We are grateful to share Dyani White Hawk and Jovan C. Speller taking part in a podcast format we are calling The Long Conversation -- one that offers folks the chance to cultivate a thread of ideas and relationships without the presence of an interviewer
This was an experiment, one born from a desire to share with a wider audience what might happen when these two friends and collaborators had the space to relax into a conversation about life, art, family, land, and whichever topics and contexts emerged through that flow. This conversation was recorded over Zoom in late summer 2021, as both artists created work in their studios.
In the time that transpires here, we hear both artists at a point of transition between exhibitions -- with major projects ahead -- reflecting on how the central presence of Black and Native women help us understand the dimensions of the cultural moment we all are walking through.
Their time together opens with the power of intergenerational knowledge in their collaborative work Choosing Home, and expands to consider Jovan’s time spent with relatives in rural North Carolina learning family history, and Dyani’s time with Native women across the continent who speak the languages of their people. Rooted in these experiences, the conversation asks how artists, institutions, and communities can better honor and more deeply support the cultural histories and lived experiences that animate these connections.
Land is a constant presence and relational force throughout, ground on which we’re left with a deeper understanding of these artists’ creative practice but also with a sense of the kind of futures we could all inhabit.
Dyani White Hawk (Sičáŋǧu Lakota) is a visual artist and independent curator based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Most recently, her work was included in the 2022 Whitney Biennial, and also presented as a major solo exhibition at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Dyani also previously served as Gallery Director and Curator for the All My Relations Gallery in Minneapolis.
Jovan C. Speller is a multidisciplinary artist based in Minnesota. She has received a McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship and the Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation Minnesota Art Prize. Her installation In Lottie’s Living Room was featured in the High Visibility Exhibtion at the Plains Art Museum, and her exhibition Nurturing, and Other Rituals of Protection was recently presented by the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
Deep thanks to Dyani and Jovan for their time and vision, and to the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts for their support.