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October 15 - November 19, 2011


BUTTERFLY AGAINST THE WIND is based on the artist/filmmaker, JADINA LILIEN’s impressions of being in South Dakota on the Cheyenne River Reservation.  At the invitation of Lakota born, Tiokasin Ghosthorse (Host of WBAI Radio in NYC: First Voices), Lilien was invited to take photographs on this reservation where he grew up.  The work made during this period, a series of digital pigment prints that utilize a multi media photographic process, is a direct result from the artist’s time spent during these visits.

The photographs incorporate the time bound documented images of the romanticized Indian, the present day conditions on the reservation, with the timeless quality of paint.  Using paint and photography and continually re-photographing the image, as it changes and morphs into a balance of present and past, the process finds it's way where the two meet.  Where the unseen (paint) and the seen, (the photograph) exist on a level playing field.  The element of surprise, merging the painting with the print, then painting again, retaking the photo, become a balancing act in understanding that what we see and the unseen are equally necessary and all is in flux. 

“And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for as I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being” - Black Elk.  Lilien explains, “In the Lakota Nation only a few remnants of a beautiful culture still exist, but there is a spirit of the Lakota people and the land that is undeniable and powerful.”   She continues “This work is created from the place in the heart where the human and star become one.”

The Lakota are the people who fell from the sky.  A woman on earth fell in love with a star, and had to leave everything on earth behind, in order to join him in the endless sky.  She missed the earth, and so she came back down here.  And when she gave birth to her baby, it was half human and half star.  (Lakota Creation Story)  ​

Presented at New York Open Center | 22 East 30th St. NY, NY 10016

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