Mohawk, b. 1953

Wolf Nation, 2018

High-definition video (color, sound)
9:59 min.
Sound by Laura Ortman
Dimensions variable
Courtesy the artist

For his video Wolf Nation, Alan Michelson has transformed found footage of red wolves, a critically endangered indigenous species, into a vibrant meditation linking their eradication with that of the Munsees, the Lenape people known as the Wolf Tribe, whose ancestral territory included the land of Storm King Art Center. The artist draws upon the Native tradition of wampum belts—sashes woven of white and purple shell beads carrying solemn messages. Michelson’s video, accompanied by a haunting soundtrack by White Mountain Apache musician and composer Laura Ortman, offers a contemporary, digital version of a wampum belt, affirming an indigenous worldview and espousing solidarity across species.

Installation view Tramway, Glasgow, 2014
© Mike Nelson. Courtesy Tramway, Glasgow; 303 Gallery, New York; Galleria Franco Noero, Turin; Matt’s Gallery, London; and neugerriemschneider, Berlin.
Photo: Keith Hunter