Toward a Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange

Will Wilson

Exhibition Website

Oct 2015 - May 2016
As an indigenous artist working in the 21st-century, Diné (Navajo) artist Will Wilson employs media that range from historical photographic processes -- including use of 19th century cameras and lenses -- to the randomization and projection of complex visual systems within virtual environments.
He is "impatient with the way that American culture remains enamored of one particular moment in a photographic exchange between Euro-American and Aboriginal American societies: the decades from 1907 to 1930 when photographer Edward S. Curtis produced his magisterial opus, The North American Indian. For many people even today, Native people remain frozen in time in Curtis photos."  
The studio portraits in this exhibition supplant Curtis’s "settler" view with a contemporary vision of Native North America. Sitters were encouraged to bring items of personal significance to their portrait sessions in order to help illustrate their contemporary connectedness with heritage and history.   

The classic collection of early 20th-century Native American portraits that Wilson referred to above is The North American Indian: The Complete Portfolios, by Edward S. Curtis

  • Photography
  • American
  • Contemporary
  • Portrait
  • Will Wilson

Exhibition Venues & Dates