Indigenous Artist Bob Haozous
The Racism Shrine in Santa Fe
By: Joanie Griffin - Nov 23, 2020
Acclaimed Indigenous artist Bob Haozous has installed his newest sculpture – one that speaks to the various forms of racism. Haozous said “the shrine belongs to all of us and is aimed to generate discussion and to educate us about the racism perpetuated by contemporary concepts of individualism and capitalism. It is especially important this decade of heightened racial division.”
The son of famed artist Allan Houser, Haozous has drawn inspiration from his Apache culture, Indigenous and world art, and from his father’s artworks. “I’ve wanted to make this statement for many years,” said Haozous, artist and Executive Director of the Allan Houser Foundation. “While we can look to the news today and see extensive coverage regarding racism, we must do more than just acknowledge and dismiss its existence. For once we have finally unveiled the various ways in which racism exists in every facet of life, we can now open up a long-needed dialog. The vocational focus of Indigenous art has long been driven by economics, profit, and material gain thanks to the colonizing influences of western culture. Historically Indigenous art was never valued as a commodity, but as a method of conversation, education, and a place of healing. It is this knowledge that give enormous value of the Indigenous statement to the world.”
A 48’ tall shrine made of mild steel, the sculpture captures various instances of racism, covering the wide range from caste, gender, ethnic, regional, economic, cultural, political, religious, educational, institutional, and environmental, plus countless others.
“At this time in our world’s history, we’ve openly unmasked the racist horrors of modern man,” added Haozous. “We are so easily entertained that we immediately go about our lives as if we are unaffected by the devastating effects of racism with no further reflection. We put these concerns aside like an unread book on a shelf, without knowing that its story is etched in our hearts and souls. It is my hope that people realize that you cannot change unless you confront what is in front of us."
“Placing the Racist Shrine next to my father’s beautiful work is juxtaposing the beauty and the beast,” added Haozous. “Allan Houser’s work is of such beauty that it can transcend all cultures, while at the same time his fundamental message was ‘self-honesty.’ That message is my driving force. Though this sculpture symbolically represents the beast, its truth is beautiful.”
The Racism Shrine is located at HAOZOUS PLACE in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. To view drone footage of the sculpture, visit https://vimeo.com/481821079.
The mission of HAOZOUS PLACE is to provide an immersive experience that educates the international community about the importance of the long dismissed Indigenous statement and of Allan Houser-Haozous to contemporary art. Tours and options will encompass the sculpture garden, gallery, archive/museum complex, and education center which Mr. Houser inspired. Allan Houser/Haozous’s cultural heritage and vision will promote Indigenous culture, creativity, and history. More information can be found on the website www.haozousplace.org or by telephone (505) 471 7409.