Edition of 20
Image/paper size: 25 x 44 inches (63.5 x 111.8 cm)
Signed, dated and numbered on reverse in graphite
For anyone who has followed the attempts by the corporation, Energy Transfer Partners, to build the Dakota Access Pipeline less than one mile from the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, the message of the letterpress work “IOU” will be clear: both a promise and an apology to that tribe, and by extension, to the many other indigenous peoples whose rights and treaties have been trampled over the years. The land that is threatened was given to the Sioux tribe in the 1851 Laramie Treaty, although the government tried to reduce it later. The last leg of the pipeline route will pass under the Missouri River and threaten the reservation’s drinking water and the drinking water of millions of downstream residents, not to mention the pipeline’s contribution to global warming and its encroachment on sacred burial sites. This segment of the pipeline was originally supposed to be built at Bismark, but it was rerouted because it might threaten the drinking water of Bismark’s residents. As the protocol for approval of these pipelines, such as a thorough Environmental Impact Study, is radically altered by Trump’s orders, “IOU” fashions a simple message out of the heart of the Sioux tribe’s name. Luckily, as of July 6 of this year, a federal court ruled that all plans must be halted while the government conducts a full-fledged analysis examining the risk the pipeline poses to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.