Ph.D. candidate, Kristen Holfeuer, wrote an article in the latest issue of Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2024


PhD candidate, Kristen Holfeuer.

PS Ph.D. candidate, Kristen Holfeuer, has written an article "Crafting Inoculation" that has been published in the latest issue of Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts. The article discusses Cree visual artist Ruth Cuthand's use of traditional and contemporary Indigenous beading techniques to craft multicolored, enlarged images of deadly diseases. Building on decolonial feminist theories of inoculation, theories of temporality and semiology, bio-medical innovation and material history, the article consider the viral impact of glass beads to argue that Cuthand’s beadwork acts as decolonial inoculation: a technology that indigenizes the elements of colonial invasion to enable Indigenous resurgence and continuity. The article examines Cuthand’s beadwork as well as the role of the needle in both Western scientific and Indigenous practices of medicine. The paper closes with an examination of works made by Cuthand during the COVID-19 pandemic including 'A Remembrance of COVID-19' (2022) and a photo of Cuthand wearing an N-95 respirator mask beaded with COVID-19 microbes and propose the mask as an act of temporal recurrence and discontinuity: it aligns the present with past moments of bioterrorism but reflects a divergence, a move toward Indigenous communicability as an act of survival.