The REDress Project makes its U.S. debut during Women's History Month at the National Museum of the American Indian.
"The REDress Project" by artist Jaime Black, installation still (2015)
The color red evokes many different feelings—love, strength, danger—but Métis artist Jaime Black certainly gives it new meaning this month at the National Museum of the American Indian. Her The REDress Project outdoor art installation, which is on view through March 31, makes its U.S. debut in the District, highlighting the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women. “Black’s project focuses on the missing women in Canada, but sadly this issue transcends borders and affects indigenous women throughout the Americas,” says Machel Monenerkit, deputy director of the venue. The program uses the absence of the female body—the hint of which remains in the gowns—to raise awareness about violence against native women. The exhibition will be displayed along the Riverwalk in the museum’s native landscape; the dresses have been collected through community donations and installed at various Canadian galleries, museums and universities since 2011. It is both unnerving and disquieting to walk among the dresses—and can’t help but call to mind a recent weekend during which filming of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale took place at the National Mall. It’s also an apropos choice for Women’s History Month. Additionally, on March 21, the museum will hold a Safety for Our Sisters: Ending Violence Against Native Women symposium. The half-day event will feature Black as well as other native artists, activists and scholars, who will lead discussions about the topic. Finishes Monenerkit: “Art transforms, and definitely transcends, and moves our perspectives of how we face a tragedy.” Exhibit and symposium free, membership opportunities $25-$5,000, Fourth Street and Independence Avenue Southwest