Timothy White Eagle
Tribe: White Mountain Apache
Based In: Seattle, WA
Social Media: @timothy.whiteeagle
About the Art
One of the elders taught me that my oldest ancestors are the rock people and that we used to call them the ‘Standing Still People.’ Long ago the people would go out and sing to the Standing Still People, and they would sing back. In the old days we would sing to everything as a way of saying thank you to world and connecting to spirit. The elder said that when regular people stopped singing to the other beings of the world each day, something changed. The other beings, the rocks, the plants, the animals, they all stopped singing too. These stories are brought forward into a contemporary context, looking for connections between what our ancestors valued and what we value today. Songs for the Standing Still People is a room that sings. As you enter and move through it, a ball-chain curtain drags along the tin floor, traditional jingles bump together, and footsteps echo. The room is designed to sing to the rocks at its very center. Apache cutwork upon the floor references my ancestral connection to the experience. The pattern itself reflects both ancient and modern symbols, with a central pinwheel theme, playing off the four entrances and drawing energies toward the center.
About the Artist
Timothy White Eagle is a Native American artist based in Seattle. He earned a BFA from the University of Utah. He crafts objects, photographs, performances and spaces. His art and performances have been presented on three continents. Timothy currently works as an artistic director with MacArthur Genius, Taylor Mac, on his Pulitzer Prize finalist project, A 24 Decade History of Popular Music. In 2014, his book, The Return, with collaborator Adrain Chesser was published by Daylight Books. In 2019 he received two major commissions to create public work. In 2020, Timothy will premiere his performance The Violet Symphony at On the Boards in Seattle, and at LaMama in New York City.