My name is Gregg Deal. I am an artist, a husband, a father and a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. Welcome to what could very easily be the most important work of my artistic career.
This project is a performance art piece. I will be wearing traditional Native American clothing in various, everyday scenarios interacting with the public which will create interesting, thought-provoking, and even comical situations where the public will be forced to look at me, as a stereotypical Native person, and what I'm doing, and question what they are watching. How will they react if they saw me, a Native dressed in buckskin and a headdress, doing something as mundane as shopping for cereal at the grocery store? How would they react if they saw me eating Chinese food in China Town or taking pictures of buffalo at the National Zoo? How would they react if they saw me waiting in a Metro station or were riding in the same Metro car?
The purpose of this project is to raise questions about Native people, often viewed as a relic, and how they’re perceived in the modern age.
What We Need & What You Get
The funding will help with obtaining the “traditional” outfit I will use, equipment needed for documentation and expenses to go along with it. I will be documenting this entire project through film and photography. This documentation will result in prints for upcoming shows as well a short film about the work and why it's relevant to art and the Native voice associated with it.
The incentives to contributing funds will get you limited prints of the work, with larger donations receiving more and larger prints*. Another aspect to the 'perks' is being listed in the closing credits of the short documentary that will coincide with this project. This wouldn't happen without you.
I am aware of the subjective nature of art, but feel strongly about this work. This art campaign will force it's audience to engage the legitimacy of what they're seeing, where they stand, how it makes them feel, and what it means for Native people to exist, thrive and perpetuate their own culture in a society that has forced their assimilation. How do you feel about the Washington football team's mascot and why? How do you feel about gross caricatures of Indigenous people? How do you feel about the misconception of Native people, what they do, how they talk, and where they stand in the big scheme of things? These are real issues facing a socially-minded Native person. All of these scenes impact us in questioning our 'indianness', in how we are perceived, and in how we perceive ourselves. This will certainly be an incredible documented social experiment.
*please note that the amount for the 'perks' will not match the cost of final prints once the project is complete.