Fellowship distingushed artist profile: James A. Luna (Luiseño)

by Eiteljorg Museum | Jun 06, 2012
Distinguished Artist

James A. Luna (Luiseño)
Performance art and installation
Pauma Valley, California

James Luna has said, “…performance and installation offers an opportunity like no other for Native Americans to express themselves.” Luna, who has performed and exhibited installations throughout the United States and internationally in Europe and Asia, often uses his body as a means to critique the objectification of Native American cultures in Western museum and cultural displays. In Artifact Piece 1985-1987, he donned a loincloth and lay motionless “on exhibit” in a bed of sand inside an exhibition case at the Museum of Man in San Diego. The performance piece called attention to a tendency of Western museums to present Native American culture as extinct. In 2005, Luna represented the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian at the 2005 Venice Biennale in Italy.
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