Mixed Me­dia

Put An­other Feather On It! at Red Dot Gallery

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Put An­other Feather On It!, fea­tur­ing pho­to­graphs by sev­eral Na­tive artists, opens Fri­day, Aug. 12, at Santa Fe Com­mu­nity Col­lege’s Red Dot Gallery (826 Canyon Road). “One of the pho­tog­ra­phers is Zoe Marieh Ur­ness (Tlin­git/Chero­kee),” said cu­ra­tor Will Wil­son, di­rec­tor of the SFCC photography de­part­ment. “She has a num­ber of im­ages she took of peo­ple in cus­tom­ary garb — for ex­am­ple, a raven dancer and Apache crown dancers — and beau­ti­ful land­scapes, so they’re sort of en­vi­ron­men­tal por­traits.

“Kali Spitzer from Canada (Kaska Dena/Ro­ma­nian Jewish) has been go­ing up and do­ing these camps with her older rel­a­tives who are still liv­ing a land-based ex­is­tence, hunt­ing cari­bou and tan­ning the hides. She has a doc­u­men­tary series of her last few sum­mers do­ing that, and they’re pretty cap­ti­vat­ing.” Also in the show are Jami­son Chas Banks (Chero­kee/ Seneca-Cayuga), who has a piece that ref­er­ences the 43 in­dige­nous stu­dents who re­cently dis­ap­peared in Mex­ico.

Osage artist Ryan Red Corn shares a few of his videos. And Cara Romero (Che­me­huevi) shows an im­age of a 10-foot-long In­dian “last sup­per” that Wil­son said “is like a Who’s Who of In­dian Mar­ket celebri­ties, ba­si­cally.”

The early-Au­gust in­ter­view found Wil­son in Ok­la­homa, where he’s mak­ing pic­tures of the de­scen­dants of Na­tive peo­ple from that state whom Ed­ward Cur­tis pho­tographed for The North Amer­i­can In­dian opus, pub­lished in vol­umes be­tween 1907 and 1930. For that project, he is us­ing an 8x10-view cam­era, de­vel­op­ing prints with the wet-plate col­lo­dion process that dates to the 1850s. It’s the same cam­era he will use at Red Dot on Aug. 12, af­ter the 5 p.m. ex­hibit open­ing re­cep­tion, when he in­vites mem­bers of the pub­lic to sit for a stu­dio por­trait.

“The stu­dio is part of my prac­tice. I have a project I’ve been do­ing for the last four years called the Crit­i­cal In­dige­nous Pho­to­graphic Ex­change. One of my taglines is, ‘What if In­di­ans in­vented photography? Would there be a dif­fer­ent set of prac­tices or pro­to­cols around the idea of mak­ing an im­age?’ I use the wet-plate process be­cause it’s got this cool time-trav­el­ing as­pect. I gift the sit­ter the ac­tual ob­ject. If you sit for me, you walk away with the tin­type, and in ex­change I get a scan of it and per­mis­sion to use that scan in my grow­ing body of por­trai­ture.”

Wil­son gives a cu­ra­tor’s talk at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 14, also at the gallery. The ex­hi­bi­tion, a part of the Pho­toSum­mer pro­gram, hangs through Aug. 26. Call 505-820-7338 or visit www.red-dot-gallery.com for de­tails. — Paul Wei­de­man

Cara Romero: Oil Boom (2015)

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