New Red Order, with Virgil B/G Taylor
PUBLIC SECRET SOCIETY: New Red Order
AWARD: 2021 SHIFT – Transformative Change and Indigenous Arts
CO-LEAD ARTIST: Jackson Polys
NATIVE HERITAGE: Tlingit
LOCATION: New York, NY
CO-LEAD ARTIST: Adam Khalil
NATIVE HERITAGE: Ojibway (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians)
LOCATION: Brooklyn, NY
New Red Order (NRO) is a public secret society facilitated by core contributors Jackson Polys, Adam Khalil, and Zack Khalil. Polys is a multi-disciplinary artist who examines negotiations toward the limits and viability of desires for Indigenous growth. He holds an MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University and was the recipient of a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Mentor Artist Fellowship. Adam Khalil is a filmmaker and artist whose practice attempts to subvert traditional forms of image making through humor, relation, and transgression. He received his B.A. from Bard College and is co-founder of COUSINS Collective. Zack Khalil is a filmmaker and artist whose work explores an Indigenous worldview and undermines traditional forms of historical authority through the excavation of alternative histories and the use of innovative documentary forms. He received his B.A. at Bard College in the Film and Electronic Arts Department, and is a UnionDocs Collaborative Fellow and Gates Millennium Scholar. Their work has appeared at Artists Space, Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin, Kunstverein in Hamburg, Lincoln Center, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, New York Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Toronto Biennial 2019, Walker Arts Center, and Whitney Biennial 2019, among other institutions.
New Red Order (NRO) works with networks of informants and accomplices to create grounds for Indigenous futures. NRO emerges in contradistinction to an older, extant secret society dubbed “The Improved Order of the Red Men,” an American organization, revived in 1934 as a whites-only fraternity, whose redface rituals and regalia are inspired by the country’s most famous, foundational act of Indigenous appropriation: the donning of Mohawk disguises by the Sons of Liberty during the Boston Tea Party. If the foundation of settler society rests both on desires for indigeneity and the violent displacement of Indigenous land and life, NRO asks how those desires could be channeled toward productive and sustainable ends
Our aim is to transcend the guilt and shame, not to remove and thus get over it, but to imagine something through and beyond that can address and promote Indigenous futures.
― New Red Order
NRO’s SHIFT project “Give It Back” enacts a collaborative formation in the ongoing development of a long-term Indigenous led movement to collectively devise strategies and activate new avenues toward instantiating the transfer of land back to Indigenous people. The organizational partner and project collaborator Creative Time, based in what is currently called New York City, will aid in the recruitment of willing settler-colonists to ‘give back’ what was stolen. The mutable project will unfurl over two years, harnessing the form of an architectural pavilion as a community nexus to move toward the permanent repatriation / rematriation of land. This newly created hub will serve as an operating space for multiple Indigenous movements.
Creative Time is a public arts organization that works with artists to contribute to the dialogues, debates, and dreams of our times. Creative Time produces, presents, and sponsors programs in the visual and performing arts that encourage dialogue between artists and communities. Creative Time’s projects expand the definition of public art by employing artists concerned with enhancing the viewer’s perception of a particular environment, sharing the creative process with the public, and using densely populated locations lacking in cultural amenities.