About The Conversation
What is the value of archival collections in addressing indigenous self-determination? This is the question I pose for my work with archival collections and, more specifically, my work with Edward S. Curtis. My fascination with archival images began when I was a young boy in grade school when I saw a painted portrait of a 19th century Plains Indian man in a history book. What struck me about the portrait was the man’s facial resemblance to men in my family.
Around the same time I saw my first powwow, I had my first encounter with Edward Curtis’ early 20th century images of indigenous people. I was fascinated by the fact that the faces I saw in Curtis’s portraits I also saw on the powwow grounds. I began a portrait project on the powwow and in support of the new series I also began a research project with archival collections. I wanted to learn more about Curtis and the combination of image making and research would lead to repurposing the archive as a conversation between past and present.
View the Portfolios from this series: