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Nicholas Galanin

Tsu Héidei Shugaxtutaan 1 and 2

June 20, 2020
–July 3, 2020

Nicholas Galanin , Tsu Héidei Shugaxtutaan 1, 2006.

Tsu Héidei Shugaxtutaan translates to We will again open this container of wisdom that has been left in our care. The work is named for the song being danced in by the non-Tlingit dancer. Galanin suggests opening containers of wisdom to create connection between generations as contribution to living culture. This work embodies celebration of culture and the necessity of contribution over consumption. In this early work Galanin explores song, dance, language, as intersecting streams to carry cultural continuum. The work asserts Tlingit song and dance as contemporary and relevant, blending them seamlessly with contemporary song and dance as a beacon for what is possible when culture is allowed to grow and expand to navigate new circumstances. Rather than a juxtaposition of time or place, the video expands both by weaving together image, sound and motion.

Recommended Age: Grade 3 and up

  • In this work, Galanin blends together Tlingit and non-Tlingit music and dance.
    • How does watching these two films side-by-side influence your reading of the two types of music and dance depicted? 
  • Both films are presented in black and white. How does this add to your interpretation of the work?  
  • How do you think these films would be shown in a gallery? How might different presentation formats affect your viewing experience?
  • If you could ask the artist a question about the piece, what would you like to know?

Past Shift Key Programmes

A still from Cecilia Vicuña "Paracas" (1983)
Cecilia Vicuña
A Still from Cauleen Smith "Pilgrim" (2017)
Cauleen Smith
Mona Hatoum
Aura Satz
Preemptive Listening (Part 1: The Fork in the Road)