Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

Richard Glazer Danay: Shake, Rattle & Roll

January 21 – March 31, 2012

P1000348-768x1024In the exhibition, Mohawk artist Richard Glazer-Danay reflects upon traditional material culture and sources new materials to make rattles relevant to culture and ceremony in the 21st century.  Rattles are instruments still employed in scared rituals among Native Americans and are commonly made from natural materials such as animal horns, bark, shell, bones, stones and gourds.

At the beginning of the 19th century, man-made materials were integrated into the rattles – like the Calumet baking powder tin can that sometimes replaced traditional materials in function, not spirituality.  Glazer-Danay mines discount and thrift stores for ready-made objects he transforms into contemporary rattles as a means to recognize and revitalize tradition.

For close to fifty years, noted artist Richard Glazer-Danay’s art practice has engaged with and consciously resculpted social, political and cultural absurdities with his urban sensibility, cynical humor and comprehension of traditional Indigenous knowledge and history. Born in Coney Island, New York, in 1942 to a Mohawk father and Jewish mother, Glazer -Danay comes from the first generation of a “new breed” — urban Indians — who descended from those who migrated from the reservation to urban centers for employment and education.