5th MARCH – 30th MAY 2015
Six contemporary American Indian fine art photographers shed new light on both the uses of photography and the identities of Indigenous Americans in this ground-breaking exhibition.
‘CAPTURED’ showcases the work of fine art photographers Cara Romero, Will Wilson, Zoe Urness, Sara Sense, Tailinh Agoyo and Debra Yepa-Pappan, who surprise and delight with sublime and arresting imagery that challenges preconceived notions of American Indians.
- Chemehuevi photographer Cara Romero creates both intimate portraits and playful reconstructions of iconic masterworks, featuring performance art hero ‘Buffalo Man‘.
- Navajo artist Will Wilson combines digital technology with historic photographic processes to develop otherworldly portraits of Native artists for his on going “Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange” project. One of these portraits is an extraordinary interactive ‘talking tintype’ which has to be seen to be believed!
- CAPTURED features two images from Tailinh Agoyo‘s current series ‘The Warrior Project: Indigenous Children Defend the Earth’ that reveal the next generation as budding change makers and empowered activists.
- There are turns towards tradition in sepia prints on woodblock as Tlingit photographer Zoe Urness focuses on themes of ceremony and nature in her on going series ‘Native Americans: Keeping the Traditions Alive’.
- whereas contemporary fine artist Sarah Sense weaves photographs of her world travels into intriguing textures using the Chitamacha basketwork patterns of her tribe.
- Debra Yepa-Pappan captures her hometown of Chicago in glorious colours, selectively overlaying patterns that celebrate her Jemez Pueblo and Korean heritage.
CAPTURED shares modern narratives from within tribal communities, where Native people hold the cameras and present themselves as empowered individuals. Popular historical depictions by colonial photographers such as Edward Curtis have fixed in time external ideas about Native life. In reality, Native Americans today are no less authentic than in the past and this show provides a much-needed reassessment of photography relating to American Indians and their relationships with the photographic lens.
“Native American art is as diverse as our people. Photography is a newly emerging art form for contemporary Native American artists who are creating groundbreaking, heart clenching work from deep inside our indigenous identities, cultures and landscapes.
Here is a revolutionary show, “Captured” that brings together a powerhouse of indigenous photographers creating works that flip the stereotypical images on their heads. They are authentic, diverse, and offer an unparalleled glimpse into Native stories and lives of Native peoples.
There is a certain trust that is evoked between the subjects and photographers. The subjects are safe to express themselves and not be exploited. It is a subtly that is hard to articulate, but can be observed ever so powerfully in these photographs.” Cara Romero.
With CAPTURED, we are given a taste of what photography by and about Native American Indians can look like post Edward Curtis. Overall, this is an innovative and overdue exhibition about the nature of Native American Indian photography and the specific cultural expressions of people who undoubtedly belong on both sides of the camera.