While searching for subjects for his installation Viewer, 1996, a happenstantial encounter between Gary HILL, a white middle-class Californian and Martin COTHREN, a Yakama Native American, morphed into an ambivalent friendship of otherness—a twenty-year saga encompassing creative exchange and a myriad of extreme emotions and states of mind; a scribbled journey through serial frustration, generosity, paranoia, forgiveness, and deep sorrow. Perhaps the meaningfulness of their connection is an unspoken one.
Nevertheless, the encounter herein becomes a vaguely linear play with living memory constructing a fluctuating space of drawings and hand written letters intercut with prose in which these two particular human beings continue to manifest kinship.
Gary HILL (born 1951) is a major video American artist considered as one of the main actors in new media art, has worked with a broad range of media—including sculpture, sound, video, installation and performance—since the early 1970’s. His longtime work with intermedia continues to explore an array of issues ranging from the physicality of language, synesthesia and perceptual conundrums to ontological space and viewer interactivity.
Martin COTHREN (born 1960) a Native American from the Yakama Nation was a fisherman by trade and a skilled artist that worked with pen and ink depicting traditional Native iconography. The drawings gained in complexity during multiple stints in prison where he also learned the art of beading. Although deep down a spiritual person, he was unable to break the recidivist’s trap. His last chance with freedom saw him die homeless on the streets of Anchorage, Alaska on June 4, 2016.
**the design and layout of the book has been realized by Gary HILL***
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