Via The New York Times, July 3, 2022
In a transfixing two-minute video called “River (The Water Serpent)” in the Metropolitan Museum’s American Wing we see a drone shot of a snow-flecked landscape where a crowd has gathered. Each of its members holds a vertical mirrored panel. Together, on cue, they place the panels horizontally over their heads, reflective side skyward, and begin a procession. At first, it’s loose and tidally pooling and eddying. Then it tightens into a stream of light, gains velocity, and spirals like a whirlpool.
The landscape is a stretch of prairie on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation spanning the border between North and South Dakota. The time of the filming was December 2016. The procession, conceived by two Native American artists, Cannupa Hanska Luger and Rory Wakemup, was a combined act of protest and preservation.