Standing In Line
Standing In Line
Ball pen, Marker pen, Newsprint
22.5 × 14 × 2 in
Unfolding to over 9 feet long this monumental example of Brian D. Tripp’s critical acumen, multi-level collaged and painted compositions, and vibrant expressionistic style suggests infinite associations and interpretations. Among numerous sources and influences, Tripp’s expressionistic newspaper interventions are rooted in both the intellectual tradition of Karuk culture and the global situationist art practices of appropriation and detournement.
For over 30 years through the 1980s into the 2000s, Karuk artist, poet, singer, dancer, and activist Brian D. Tripp spent almost every morning doing drawing interventions on the daily newspaper while he drank his morning cup of coffee. There are thousands of these drawings, ranging from tiny precious sketches that he cut out and saved and major page spreads of large intricate drawings. Some of the drawings became major installations, exhibitions, or other artists’ books. The style and focus of these drawings were very varied, but the overriding critical goal of the project, whether subtle or obvious, was inescapable, this was a meditative project of aesthetic magic that countered the daily and ubiquitous invasion of the so-called ‘newspaper’, the iconic propaganda tool of white settler colonialism, racism and capitalism. In Standing In Line each drawing disrupts the ‘newspaper’ as well as the capitalist icon of the stock market, and adds Tripp’s indomitable and even joyful narratives of Karuk resistance to white settler colonialism on Turtle Island, and the resilience of the enduring Karuk culture and tribe. Tripp’s relentless and multi-levels of deconstruction are often accompanied by his piercing sense of humor. Notable critiques in Standing In Line include the apt comparison of the capitalist stock market as nothing more than gambling and a chilling reference to the violent abuse of Native American children that accompanies a headline of the more ubiquitous exposure of the Catholic church’s institutionalization sexual abuse of white children.
In 2022 this series of interventions was bound into an accordion fold structure by master binder Sophia Kramer who has been binding BDT’s work for more than a decade.