The New Red Order (NRO) is a mutable collective, a “public secret society,” facilitated by three core contributors — brothers Zack and Adam Khalil, who are Ojibway and grew up in northern Michigan, and Jackson Polys, who is Tlingit from Alaska. The collective creates video and performance works that question the desire for indigeneity in dominant culture. Working with an interdisciplinary network of informants, the NRO co-produces video, performance, and installation works that confront settler colonial tendencies and obstacles to Indigenous growth and agency. Their individual and collaborative work has been presented at the Alaska State Museum, Anchorage Museum, Berlinale, LACMA, Museum of Modern Art, Sundance Film Festival, Tate Modern, Toronto Biennial of Art, Walker Art Center, and Whitney Biennial 2019.
This speaker series event includes the screening of two films presented by the artists.
Never Settle: Calling In is a short recruitment video for New Red Order, a public-secret society that simultaneously satirizes and sincerely engages with efforts for solidarity and the desire for Indigenous epistemologies. Delving into the stakes of accompliceship, the video examines dynamic conditions in which the concerns of Indigenous people can be treated as a topic du jour, then co-opted. This video is part of an ambitious, multi-part project that includes a public recruitment campaign and participatory installations that invite prospective recruits to undergo an initiation. Playing with the notion of headhunting, NRO seeks to enlist candidates in their public secret-society, thereby investigating shame and the desire for indigeneity. Never Settle poses the question of how to channel what might be seen as inappropriate urges to merge with indigeneity into paths for the expansion of Indigenous growth and agency.
Adam and Zack Khalil’s debut film INAATE/SE/ [it shines a certain way. to a certain place/it flies. falls./] re-imagines an Anishinaabe story, the Seven Fires Prophecy, which both predates and predicts first contact with Europeans. A kaleidoscopic experience blending documentary, narrative, and experimental forms, INAATE/SE/ explores how the prophecy resonates through the generations in their indigenous community on the Michigan/Canadian border. With acute geographic specificity, and grand historical scope, the film fixes its lens between the sacred and the profane to pry open the construction of contemporary indigenous identity.