STEVEN YAZZIE: Gold King (& Associates)

Gold King (& Associates)
May 22 – September 4, 2022

During the busiest real estate season in one of the most competitive markets, Steven Yazzie’s installation takes form as a real estate sign, giving the appearance the property may be for sale. If an interested party calls the number on the sign (720.281.9199), they will not hear information about property for sale. They will hear a poem, quote or excerpt from a story, book or personal writing addressing environmental concerns around urbanization, land use, over development, colonization, or any range of expressions related to our human impacts in the land. At the end of the reading, the caller may leave a message of their own, which will be archived in the form of an audio file and transcribed in an email.

Each week through the summer, the voice message will become active with a new voice from the list below. An audio archive is available at:

  1. Wayne Rainey, Photographer & Artist, American
  2. Desert Art Labs: April Borjorquez, Artist, Chicana, Matt Garcia, Artist, Chicano
  3. Gregg Deal: Pyramid Lake Paiute, Artist
  4. Nancy Barić, Canadian, Filmmaker
  5. Andrea Hanley, Curator, Diné
  6. Joshua Daniel: American, Woodsman
  7. Dr Ramona Beltrán Xicana of Yaqui & Mexica descent, Educator
  8. Jake Meders, Mechoopda, Artist/Educator
  9. Patti Parsons, American, Artist
  10. Saskia Jorda, Artist, Venezuelan, American
  11. Dr. Marisa Duarte, Pascua Yaqui Tribe
  12. Steven J. Yazzie, Navajo, Laguna Pueblo, European Ancestry

“Gold King” refers to the Gold King Mine wastewater spill from 2015 which caused the toxic release of wastewater into the Animas River watershed. By drawing attention to capitalist concepts of private property, ownership, and over-development in a place where water is a precious, dwindling resource, Yazzie is making a clear connection to the failures of the US Government in regard to environmental protection, while offering a platform for native and non-native voices to be heard, hopefully raising awareness and bringing attention to a crisis that has been unfolding for centuries.

Steven J. Yazzie (b.1970) Newport Beach, California; lives and works in Denver, Colorado. Yazzie is a multidisciplinary artist working in painting, installation, video/film and community. He is the co-founder of Digital Preserve LLC, a digital film production project which prioritizes collaborations with arts and cultural institutions, leveraging Indigenous issues and voices to the forefront of public discourse. Additionally, Yazzie was a founding member of the Indigenous arts collective, Postcommodity, and is the co-founder of the Museum of Walking. Yazzie is a proud member of the Navajo Nation and is a veteran of the Gulf War, serving honorably with the United States Marine Corps 1988-92. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Intermedia at Arizona State University and was named the 2014 outstanding graduate for the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. He also studied at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, 2006.

Yazzie’s professional career spans a long exhibition list of national and international institutions, most notably at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; National Museum of the American Indian, New York, NY; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; the Museum of Contemporary Native Art and the Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe, NM. Throughout Arizona: Heard Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona State University Art Museum, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson Museum of Art, and the Museum of Northern Arizona.

Yazzie is a 2021 recipient of the Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship and recently awarded Community Scholar for the Interdisciplinary Research Institute for the Study of (in)Equality, University of Denver, Colorado. He is currently the Native Artist in Residence at the Denver Art Museum.