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January 29 - March 18, 2018
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Artist's Talk: Shelley Niro
Niro, who received her MFA from the University of Western Ontario, is an award-winning multi-disciplinary artist and member of the Six Nations Reserve, Turtle Clan, Bay of Quinte Mohawk.
Opportunities to view indigenous peoples through the eyes of indigenous photographers are rare and recent. This photographic exhibition features the work of indigenous artists from North America, Peru, Iraq, and New Zealand. Distinctive in its historical reach, the exhibition includes newly discovered 19th-century trailblazers, members of the next generation of emerging photographers, and well established contemporary practitioners.
Our People, Our Land, Our Images has been carefully constructed as a first person, indigenous account. Reflecting contemporary trends, the photographers and their subjects vary in style, from straightforward documentary accounts to aesthetically altered images combining overlays and collage. The variety found in the exhibition conveys the plurality of the indigenous voices and their concerns. The photographs are united, however, in how they convey their makers’ connections to the land, community, and traditions.
Ultimately, the multiplicity of perspectives represented by the exhibition and its texts sustains an open-ended experience that will actively engage audiences as they analyze how "the camera, in the hands of indigenous visionaries, becomes a tool or weapon that possesses the power to confront and deconstruct stereotypes, politics, and histories." Our People, Our Land, Our Images provides insight into the variations in and history of bicultural identity. Further, the exhibition demonstrates the longevity and continuing vitality of native traditions of photography and answers the overdue and continuing need to expand the knowledge of indigenous self-presentation in photography.
The C.N. Gorman Museum at the University of California, Davis, originally organized this exhibition in conjunction with a conference for international indigenous photographers held at the museum. Veronica Passalacqua, curator at the C.N. Gorman Museum, is the guest curator.