THIS BURNING WORLD speaks to the urgency and importance of our collective relationship to the planet. It places the earth under the ICA SF building in dialogue with video of the natural world beyond these walls. This installation is a reminder to the hidden land, “This is where you come from! Aren’t you incredible!”
The openings in the floor are an opportunity for the earth to breathe and serve as a portal for us to speak, give thanks, and apologize to the land for our treatment of “them.” The hundreds of videos, shot mostly in the Hudson Valley, capture the seasonal and evolving natural environments where I live and work. Joan Henry speaks and sings to the earth, the trees, the water, the mountains, the animals, the sun and the moon.
Indigenous kinship philosophies have provided the conceptual and philosophical framework for this installation. These perspectives acknowledge the elements of our natural environments as our equal ancestors, living relatives, and as extensions of our own minds and bodies. When we damage or treat the land without regard for its own sustainable well being, we are in turn hurting and damaging ourselves and disregarding our own well being, safety, and health.
– Jeffrey Gibson
Jeffrey Gibson's multimedia practice synthesizes the cultural and artistic traditions of his Cherokee and Choctaw heritage with the visual languages of Modernism and themes from contemporary popular and queer culture. His work is a vibrant call for queer and Indigenous empowerment, envisioning a celebration of strength and joy within these communities.
Gibson's work is included in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; Denver Art Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C.; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR; among many others. Gibson is a recipient of numerous awards, notably a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (2019); Joan Mitchell Foundation, Painters and Sculptors Award (2015); and Creative Capital Foundation Grant (2005).
Jeffrey Gibson (b. 1972, Colorado Springs, CO) grew up in major urban centers in the United States, Germany, Korea, and England. He is a citizen of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and is half Cherokee.
The ICA SF acknowledges that we are on the unceded ancestral homeland of the Ramaytush Ohlone who are the original inhabitants of the San Francisco Peninsula. Please consider supporting the non-profit work of the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone (ARO).
If you are a resident of San Francisco, please consider contributing via the Yunakin Land Tax, a financial contribution made by residents who live along the San Francisco Peninsula in San Francisco County, in San Mateo County, and the portion of Santa Clara County northwest from Cupertino.
If you are a resident of the East Bay, please consider contributing via the Shuumi Land Tax, a voluntary annual contribution that non-Indigenous people living on the Confederated Villages of Lisjan’s territory can make to support the critical work of the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust.
Thank you to videographers Michael Barringer and Christine Pfister, sound engineer Tristan Shepherd, and Jeffrey Gibson’s Studio Team including Bill Singer, Antonia Oliver, and Brian Barlow.
Generous support for THIS BURNING WORLD is provided by the ICA SF founding donors, Bonhams, Sikkema Jenkins & Co. New York, Roberts Projects, and Kavi Gupta Gallery.
Additional support is provided by our partners Meyer Sound, Goo Systems Global, Kelly Moore Paints, Roving Tech Solutions, and Fort Point Beer Company.
ICA SF and Jeffrey Gibson merch is available to buy only at the ICA, come by in-person to get yours today.
Roving Tech Solutions
Jeffrey Gibson Studio Team
Brian Barlow, Bill Singer, Antonia Oliver
Michael Barringer, Christine Pfister
Tristan Shepherd, Ryan Howe