Kent Monkman's World Premier performance at Denver Art Museum will Examine Gender Roles and Cultural Oppression

Challenging art historical depictions of native peoples, Canadian artist Kent Monkman will transform into his drag-queen alter ego “Miss Chief” for the debut of a new performance art-piece at the Denver Art Museum.

Monkman’s performance draws on the artist’s Cree ancestry to illuminate the Native art communities’ celebration of the two-spirit identity in individuals with both male and female gender roles. Referencing Thomas Eakins The Gross Clinic (1875) and The Agnew Clinic (1889), Miss Chief will perform an operation on a sculpture that takes audiences through an abridged rendition of art history, peeling back the layers to expose the primary source of the Western art canon, an idealized version of the male body. 

Seeking to alter historical perceptions on issues such as cultural oppression, representation, gender, and sexuality, the performance will be accompanied by two recent paintings by the artist on view in DAM’s modern and contemporary art galleries: History is Painted by the Victors (2013) and Lot’s Wife (2012). Monkman’s presentation advances DAM’s institutional focus on Native American art, further enabling visitors to draw connections between contemporary issues facing the community and the Museum’s signature collection on display in the recently remodeled American Indian Art galleries.  

The performance is held in conjunction with the 2013 Native American Art Studies Association (NAASA) conference, which is hosted by DAM and will bring together hundreds of scholars, museum professionals, and artists interested in the study of American Indian art.

DATE: Oct 18, 2013 8:00 pm - Oct 18, 2013 10:00 pm
COST: $15-$20.
VENUE: Denver Art Museum

For more information visit or

Source; Press Release