Honoring James Luna

Indigenous Presence at SAIC
Thursday, February 28
Sharp Building
6th Floor Exhibition Cases
United States
Image of doll with multi-colored stitches over unreadable text.


In 1986, the late James Luna performed “The Artifact Piece” at the San Diego Museum of Man. There, he put his body on display in a glass case, along with some of his personal belongings, to challenge colonialist perceptions of indigeneity. Viewers approached the display assuming that they were looking at an ordinary wax model of a person from the past, only to find that Luna was a living, breathing man existing in the same time and space as the people looking down at him.

This show is a collection of works and objects by/belonging to students who identify as native at SAIC, organized by the student group Indigenous at SAIC. It is a statement of indigenous presence within the institution and Chicago, as well as a tribute to James Luna’s legacy.

Image Credit: "Chamomile Ray" by Carly Trujillo​