April 12–August 24,
Curator of Exhibitions
A Tribe Called Red (Ottowa) / Sam Durant (Los Angeles) / Joe Harl + Robin Machiran (St. Louis) / Geoffrey Krawczyk (New York) / Beverly Pepper (Todi, Italy) / Alison Saar (Los Angeles) / Marie Watt (New York)
The title Mound City is St. Louis’ appellation in honor of the Mound culture that existed here one thousand years ago. The heart of this Mississippian culture’s capital, located at Cahokia, adjacent to East St. Louis on the Illinois border, is where the bulk of the remaining mounds are found. This ancient city was the largest north of Mexico City, and like Hohokam in the southwest, the Mound builders dispersed (or disappeared) around 1400 C.E. Although archaeology on the site continues to yield astonishing and controversial findings, such as evidence of human sacrifice, the presence of this early civilization is little felt in the surrounding area. Indeed, while the nation recently celebrated Lewis and Clark’s historic voyage to find an uninterrupted water route to the West coast, the specifics of St. Louis’ role in taming the West is little examined.
St. Louis does celebrate its position as the “heart” of the country, ignoring its less palatable history, including the erasure of its native past supplanted by European settlements, racial problems, a convoluted political system that precludes collaboration and resource sharing, a declining industrial base and environmental problems. It is this uncelebrated set of realities that is a rich vein for artistic exploration. Through Mound City, and other educational and curatorial initiatives, Laumeier explores the interrelationship among art, history and nature.
The exhibition artists will explore traces of native culture in our contemporary world with topics ranging from disappearance and destruction to resurrection and monument. In addition, Laumeier is co-curating a film series with Webster University focusing on films by native and indigenous filmmakers from around the globe.
LOANS THAT DON'T MOVE
Organized by Laumeier's Curator of Exhibitions Dana Turkovic, Loans That Don't Move consists of artworks, objects and sites "borrowed" by Laumeier to supplement the theme and build on the narrative of a particular exhibition beyond the 105 acres of the Park.
Partner institutions serve as rich resources for a more thorough look at our local history and geography, functioning as appendix, bibliography and glossary to the thesis of an exhibition. Loans That Don't Move for Laumeier's Mound City exhibition are located at Cakohia Mounds, Mastadon State Historic Site, the Missouri History Museum, the Saint Louis Art Museum and additional locations throughout Missouri and Illinois.
SPONSORS + SUPPORTERS
Mound City is sponsored by St. Louis County Parks, Missouri Arts Council, Regional Arts Commission, Arts and Education Council, University of Missouri - St. Louis and the Mark Twain Laumeier Endowment Fund. With special thanks to Purcell Tire, Potosi.