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This thematic chapter describes Heap of Birds’s public artworks, including temporary sign panels and permanent sculptural installations. These works function as a kind of critical public history, engaging in dialogue with other markers and monuments. In these works, Heap of Birds asks, “Who owns history?” and raises questions about the nature of history and notions of historicity, presumptions of whose memories compose history, and who can narrate the past. Moreover, these works confront and interrogate the amnesiac culture of the present day and examine the historical legacies of settler colonial societies for the future. Key artworks include Building Minnesota (Minneapolis, 1991), Wheel (Denver, 2005), and Most Serene Republics, Heap of Birds’s project for the 2007 Venice Biennale. These works are examined in light of the artist’s grounding in indigenous ceremony and worldview, and in comparison with contemporary artworks that embody what Hal Foster terms an “archival impulse.”

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