Non-profit organization Public Art Fund debuted a new sculpture by Indigenous artist Nicholas Galanin at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Titled In every language there is Land / En cada lengua hay una Tierra, the 30-foot-tall sculpture serves as a commentary on the U.S-Mexico border wall, given the relationship between the respective countries and its history of colonization, migration, and cultural integration.
“Indigenous care for Land and community is rooted in connection based on mutual sustainability. Rather than nationalism or capital, this perspective always embodies a deep respect for life beyond any single generation. In every language there is Land / En cada lengua hay una Tierra questions barriers to Land, which directly reflect barriers to love, love for Land, community, and future generations,” said Galanin.
According to the press release, the sculpture, which spells out the world ‘LAND’ in corten steel, is Galanin’s first public artwork in NYC.
The scale and medium is meant to reflect the size and construction materials of the actual border wall. Galanin, a multidisciplinary artist, intends to question the oppressive nature of border walls, when they cut through land and bodies of water while restricting migration access for life forms of all kinds.
Galanin, who proudly hails from the Sitka Tribe of Alaska, is of Tlingit and Unangax̂ descent. His work often centers around social and environmental themes from his perspective and experience as an Indigenous man. He does not shy away from fusing cultural and political commentary, such as the themes of injustice and forced disunity represented in this new piece.
“Alternating between abstraction and definition, our perception of the sculpture is transformed as we experience it from different vantage points,” states the press release. “Viewed head on, the work clearly reads “LAND,” but as a viewer moves through and around the work, its form shifts and the dynamic and abstracted nature of the sculpture becomes apparent. The work’s mutability illuminates the lack of borders and division in Galanin’s Indigenous view of a united natural ecosystem and way of life, embracing peaceful movement from one place to another.”
The sculpture is currently available for view at the Empire Fulton Ferry Lawn in Brooklyn Bridge Park. It will be on view through November 12, 2023.