DISORIENTALISM :: Katherine Behar + Marianne M. Kim

Disorientalism is an on-going art project by Katherine Behar and Marianne M. Kim.

Maiden Voyage, 2014


In Maiden Voyage the Disorientals track down the Land O’ Lakes Indian Maiden, who has been reborn as an empowered executive. Inspired by Land O’ Lakes and the Shadow Wolves, a special, all-Native border control unit of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Maiden Voyage uses motifs of navigation and tracking to explore how privacy and mobility are linked to social class and technological visibility.

In iSpy, the Disorientals work as migrant day laborers to spy on the Indian Maiden. She is loaded with gold coins and broadcasts her whereabouts with a “Smoke Signals” smartphone app. The Disorientals navigate on bicycles to follow her limo. Unfortunately, like Christopher Columbus, they are poor navigators and their voyage goes awry: they lose the signal, get lost, and end up with the “wrong” kind of Indian. “Wrong” Indians reappear in Two Sides to Every Coin, The Churn, and The Shadow Wolves, in the form of spinning Thangka cloths, a rotating mandala, and a seated meditation performance. Eventually, the Shadow Wolves become Land O’ Lakes employees who organize a union, go on strike, and protest.

The Food Groups Aunt Jemima character iconThe Food Groups Wendy character iconThe Food Groups Land O' Lakes character iconThe Food Groups Sun-Maid character iconThe Food Groups Chiquita Banana character icon

This project is a chapter in The Food Groups, a five-part series focusing on race and labor in American food production and promotion. The Disorientals encounter five historical food industry trade characters of different races. In “Chapter 1: Ready Mix” we meet Aunt Jemima; in “Chapter 2: Brown Bagging” we meet Wendy; in “Chapter 3: Maiden Voyage” we meet the Land O’Lakes Indian Maiden, in “Chapter 4: A New Face” we meet Sun-Maid; and in Chapter 5 (forthcoming) we will meet Chiquita Banana. These iconic identities are affective laborers whose job is giving a friendly face to factory food. In solidarity, the Disorientals work to erase distinctions between the depersonalized production and personalized promotion of industrial food.

Video: “iSpy”

Video: “The Churn”

The Churn Video

Performance: “The Shadow Wolves”

Gallery installation and performance. (Click thumbnails to enlarge)

Disorientalism - The Food Groups: Maiden VoyageDisorientalism - The Food Groups: Maiden VoyageDisorientalism - The Food Groups: Maiden VoyageDisorientalism - The Food Groups: Maiden VoyageDisorientalism - The Food Groups: Maiden VoyageDisorientalism - The Food Groups: Maiden Voyage

Exhibited at:
Solo exhibition
“Disorientalism: Maiden Voyage & Ready Mix.” Arizona State University Galleries. Phoenix, AZ, USA. February, 2015.

Group exhibitions
“Embodied Place: Observations & Notations.” Curated by Amy Franceschini and Russell Dudley. Garage Door and Tahoe Gallery, Incline Village, NV. February, 2015.

“WonderWomen.” Curated by Howard Oransky and Frenchy Lunning. Katherine E. Nash Gallery, Minneapolis, MN, USA. January, 2015.

“Manifest! Choreographing Social Movements in the Americas.” 2014 Encuentro curated by the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. FOFA Gallery, Concordia University. Montreal, Canada. June, 2014.

Performance Lecture at “Machine Wilderness.” Curated by ISEA. Albuquerque, NM, USA. September 21, 2013.