Selknam: Look Back to Look Forward
Artist-in-residence Elisa Pritzker’s solo exhibition “Selknam: Spirit, Ceremony, Selves” has been extended through September 30th, 2017. The installation, which gives voice to the Selknam tribe of Tierra del Fuego, extinct since the 1950’s, has caused a sensation in the artistic and academic community. Ms. Pritzker’s work has created such a stir that she has been asked to bring her work to a gallery in Argentina. The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA) is extending the exhibition to give local schools a chance for a visit in the fall.
In addition, Ms. Pritzker will give an artist talk on September 24th at 3pm at HVCCA. “Selknam: Look Back to Look Forward” will discuss the history of the Selknam people, their historic relevance today and how they inspired and directed her art and installation.
Said Pritzker: “A gallery talk influences both the artist and the attendees. I like to face the unexpected questions. These allow me to comprehend angles of my work that I was not consciously aware of. I am always thankful to have this opportunity.”
Ten years ago when Pritzker visited Patagonia, she felt an urgency to discover the people who had lived in Tierra del Fuego “before all the tourists came, speaking all different languages, from many cultures,” except for that of the Selknam, whose voices were gone. Pritzker began an in-depth study of the Selknam Tribe, using source materials from anthropologists and photographers, as well as learning to use their techniques for creating color and design. After intensive research, Pritzker realized how much the ancient cultures and traditions had to teach, and her solo show at HVCCA brings the viewer – stone by stone – into the Selknam realm.
Elisa Pritzker, born in Argentina, now lives in upstate New York. Her work has appeared in exhibitions and museums worldwide.