Art installation touches on Redskins name controversy

Hey, it’s been a while since the Redskins name thing showed up in a random part of the paper, leading me to write something about it, leading unhappy critics to wonder how often I get e-mails from shadowy editors hidden deep in the depths of our office, who spent 40 percent of their time figuring out ways we can write about the Redskins nickname in the most nefarious ways possible.

So now it’s in the Going Out Guide. In a story about a new installation at Flashpoint by Native American artist Anna Tsouhlarakis. Quoting from the story:

Tsouhlarakis, a member of the Navajo Nation, surveyed Native Americans about living in Washington. She wove together their answers and created a text-based installation on display at Flashpoint that provides a cross section of local Native American hearts and minds. In confrontationally bold text evocative of conceptual artist Jenny Holzer’s “Truisms,” the responses fill the gallery from floor to ceiling….

Tsouhlarakis argues that Native Americans living in Washington face more challenges than those who settle elsewhere. It’s one thing to leave home to work for your cause; it’s another thing entirely to move to a place where the football team’s name is considered by many to be a racial slur against native people. “See people of color in Redskins gear or hipsters in war paint” is one of the quotations on the wall, a reminder that the team’s name, which Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen has said is “nothing that we feel is offensive,” is in fact deeply hurtful to some.

I guess art is supposed to make people mad, right? Hanslick thought Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto was “music that stinks in the ear,” right? Right?

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg · April 25, 2013