Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Art History and Visual Culture



First Advisor

Jonathan Walz

Second Advisor

Jeanette Nicewinter

Third Advisor

Piper Hutson


This thesis discusses Indigenous Queer artist Jeffrey Gibson’s active engagement with his queer identity in his work. Using the five aspects of a counter-monument as defined by Stevens, Franck, and Fazakerley’s Counter-monuments: the anti-monumental and the dialogic; using queer as both a form of identification; and using queer as a verbal strategy, this thesis argues that Gibson’s latest work, Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House is a “queer counter-monument.” Counter-monumentalism was a movement initially developed in Germany post-World War II in opposition to monumentalism as a system of oppression. Countermonumental work disengages from traditional monuments in both form and subject, often addressing the more obscure and distressing parts of history and wrongful ideologies, whereas traditional monuments tend to glorify specific events, people, and periods of history. Contemporary queer monuments, which actively engage in subjects dealing with the LGBTQIA+ communities, likewise seek to distance themselves from traditional monument structures in both subject and form. The following text briefly discusses several of Gibson’s works, highlighting key themes such as Indigenous futurism, community, connectivity, and collaboration. All these themes featured in Because Once You Enter My House, It Becomes Our House, result in a unique combination of queer and counter-monument strategies.