We Are Coming, an Art Installation Honoring Filipino Wild West Performers, Travels to Los Angeles
(October 10, 2023 - Los Angeles, CA)—On the occasion of Filipino American History Month, the traveling conceptual art installation, We Are Coming, is moving to Vidiots in Eagle Rock for one weekend only in a collaboration with two Colorado artists and the Autry Museum of the American West.
On Friday, October 20, artists Yumi Janairo Roth and Emmanuel David will work with Vidiots to install the long-forgotten names of the Filipino Rough Riders from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West shows on the Eagle Theatre’s marquee. On Sunday, October 22, the theatre will screen Leonor Will Never Die (2022) and Shotgun Tuding (2019) accompanying a conversation with Roth and David.
Saila Reyes, the Director of Marketing at Vidiots, says, "When Vidiots restored the historic Eagle Theatre, we knew that we had a rich history to honor and uphold through our relaunch, and that includes a celebration of the Filipine community that has long been part of the fabric of Eagle Rock.”
Over two years ago, Roth and David began their collaboration, We Are Coming, after finding traces of unnamed Filipino performers in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West. The artists are now installing the names of Filipino performers on theatre marquees in communities large and small, invoking the movements of the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West travelling show.
The project uses the same language—“I Am Coming”—that William “Buffalo Bill” Cody used on posters announcing his show’s arrival. However, Roth and David transform this language into “We Are Coming” and feature the names of Ysidora Alcantara, Felix Alcantara and Geronimo Ynosincio, the Filipino Rough Riders who joined Cody’s show during the Philippine-American War in 1899.
“Filipinos were important performers in the show and their inclusion helped expand imaginaries of the American West across the Pacific as part of a broader U.S. imperial project,” says David.
The collaboration with Vidiots is an extension of the Autry Museum of the American West’s latest exhibition, Imagined Wests, a reframing of popular stories of the region in the Autry’s long-term Ted and Marian Craver Imagination Gallery. The exhibition shares numerous stories that have long been missing from the mainstream mythology of the West.
“We Are Coming is an inspired combination of historical research, conceptual art and community dialogue to help us see the Wild West and American history differently,” says Josh Garrett-Davis, curator of Imagined Wests, which includes images of Roth and David’s project in an interactive display on the legacy of Wild West shows.
The Autry Museum of the American West is acquiring an exhibition version of We Are Coming for its permanent collection.
Vidiots has a longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and access going back to our founding in 1985. We profoundly value and strive to reflect all the communities we serve, in one of the most diverse counties in the United States. Representation, inclusivity, equity, and fostering a feeling of belonging for all, have been at the forefront of our work for 35 years. Our Founders began the organization in order to tap the deep well of artistry from all over the world, and showcase the widest array of artists and points of view from all backgrounds in an affordable and equitable way. This passion remains our guiding light in a fierce commitment to building an equitable, inclusive, anti-racist, anti-misogynist film culture open and accessible to all.
The Autry Museum of American West acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). We recognize that the Autry Museum and its campuses are located on the traditional lands of Gabrielino/Tongva peoples and we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.
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