Randall Melton, Collections Curator at the Tamástslikt Cultural institute, will be speaking about the exhibitions “The Map is Not the Territory.” This touring exhibition looks at relationships and commonalities in Palestinian, Native American, and Irish experiences of invasion, occupation, and colonization – not as novelty or polemic, but as history and current events. Although many peoples worldwide have suffered long and brutal intrusions, Palestinians, Native Americans, and the Irish have intersected for centuries in specific and often unusual ways. What are some of these intersections and how do contemporary artists examine and process them through their own lives and visions?
“The map is not the territory” was coined by philosopher/scientist Alfred Korzybski, who proposed that humans have access to desires and sets of beliefs which we confuse with direct knowledge of reality. The territory of the existing inhabitants – reality – is not necessarily synonymous with the maps and boundaries – desire – drawn by colonizers.
The diverse images in this touring exhibition come together to shape vibrant and penetrating narratives. These thirty-nine contemporary artists – most of them Palestinian, Native American, and Irish -- confront history, investigate personal and political dialogue, and reflect the multiple truths in Korzybski’s dictum that “the map is not the territory.”