Jamison Chas Banks

Lives and works in
(b. 1979 in Arkansas City, Kansas, U.S.A.; lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico)

Known as “America’s favorite pastime,” baseball is the dominant metaphor for issues of contested territory in Retour des Cendres Vol. 1 (Return of the Ashes Vol. 1). In 1803 Napoleon sold the Louisiana Territory to the U.S., including the present-day state of Oklahoma as well as parts of fourteen other states, comprising the U.S.’s single largest acquisition of land. In this work the artist demonstrates a concern with interrelationship between the Louisiana Purchase, the exile of the Cherokee in Oklahoma, and Napoleon’s own later exile to the island of St. Helena.We encounter just a few elements—a scoreboard with a map of the United States, a vintage French flag, and a baseball with Napoleon’s signature—presented as artifacts of a game played between the “Exiles” and the “Purchasers.”