This paper traces the shift into performative interactions by European scholars and artists as they sought or feigned interaction with the spirits and objects of Native American culture. I discuss the postwar artworks of Max Ernst, Joseph Beuys, and Steven Yazzie. I argue that each of these artists’ use of Native American objects goes beyond earlier surrealist appropriative and mimetic strategies. From a postcolonial position, these artworks address personal trauma as well as the collective trauma of colonialism.
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