Cowboy Conversations: Mythbusting
Artist, writer, and graphic novelist Alan Brooks hosts this conversation series that brings together artists from the Cowboy exhibition with scholars and other guests to unravel the complex history, stereotypes, and legends surrounding the American West through the intersection of contemporary art and American history.
Artists Gregg Deal and Mel Chin imagine a Western landscape scarred from its colonialist past. Deal (Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe) creates artworks that honor the indigenous experience and critique the mechanics of American society. In his performance piece Teepugoobakwaetu Modu (Animals That Roam the Earth), performed on December 9 at MCA Denver, Deal creates an imagined figure who occupies a future beyond the reach of settler colonialism. Mel Chin uses his artwork to connect to several chapters in Texas history, including the Catholic colonization of Texas in the 1500s and the closing of the Open Range – the land where cattle and cowboys alike could freely roam – in the late 1800s.