The innovative weaver and fiber artist Eric-Paul Riege (Diné) uses a rich array of natural and synthetic materials—including wool, cotton, shells, faux fur, and human hair—to create his signature woven sculptures that reflect on the Diné (Navajo) philosophy of hózhó. Hózhó, as a practice in everyday life as well as in Riege’s own artistic practice, is a worldview that encompasses the values of beauty, balance, and goodness in all things physical and spiritual. Riege considers everything—all objects—in his practice “living and activated.”
Wearing regalia that he has produced, Riege will activate his series of large woven sculptures as instruments to create a sort of song. Titled jaatłoh4Ye’iitsoh, which translates roughly to “earring for the big god,” the sculptures, which resemble jewelry, are part of an ongoing and evolving series. According to journalist Sheila Regan, “Riege says that jewelry is an important way for Diné people to take in knowledge, because, especially for earrings, they are so close to the person’s ears. ‘This adornment is one way of listening,’ he says. In [his] hands, the objects worn by a human-devouring monster become alluring.”
The durational performance will take place during the opening of Indian Theater throughout the galleries. Visitors are encouraged to touch the jaatłoh4Ye’iitsoh sculptures.
Eric-Paul Riege (Diné) is a weaver and fiber artist working in collage, durational performance, installation, woven sculpture, and wearable art. Using weaving as both means and metaphor to tell hybrid tales that interlace stories from Diné spirituality with his own interpretations and cosmology, he understands his artworks as animate and mobile. His practice pays homage and links him to generations of weavers in his family that aid him in generating spaces of sanctuary.