By Stephanie Allmon Merry
In what they’re calling a “watershed” exhibition, Fort Worth’s Amon Carter of American Art is planning the first major museum survey devoted to contemporary Indigenous photographers. “Speaking with Light: Contemporary Indigenous Photography” will spotlight works of more than 30 Indigenous artists and explore “the dynamic ways in which (they) have leveraged their lenses over the past three decades to reclaim representation and affirm their existence, perspectives, and trauma,” a release says.
It will be on display from October 30, 2022, through January 22, 2023.
The multimedia exhibition — co-curated by the museum’s senior curator of photographs, John Rohrbach, with artist Will Wilson, a citizen of the Navajo Nation and photography program head at Santa Fe Community College — will feature prints by Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie, Wendy Red Star, and Nicholas Galanin; and site-responsive installations by Kapulani Landgraf and Jolene Rickard. Other featured artists include Jeremy Dennis, Sky Hopinka, Dylan McLaughlin, Cara Romero, Shelley Niro, Tom Jones, and Zig Jackson.
The Carter has commissioned a new large-scale photo weaving by Sarah Sense for the exhibition.
Assembled together, the museum says, these photographs, videos, three-dimensional works, and digital activations “forge a mosaic investigation into identity, resistance, and belonging.” It’s also part of a mission the museum has undertaken to amplify Indigenous artists’ contributions to the history of photography and American visual identity, they say.
“Furthering our mission to seed critical conversations with the history of American art, the Carter is proud to present this watershed exhibition as a testament to the dedication, rigor, and empathy of the artists, community members, and scholars who have brought it life,” says executive director Andrew J. Walker in the release.
The nearly 100-work exhibition will be presented in three thematic sections that examine the camera’s role in “shaping shared scars and empowerments,” they say. It will close, they add, by drawing attention to the global reach of Indigenous visual expression with a hands-on presentation of the online database Indigenous Photograph.
“‘Speaking with Light’ is a symbol of the vitality of contemporary Indigenous photography,” Rohrbach says, “acknowledging the diversity of Indigenous artists who are confronting the story of America with acuteness and passion.”
For more information about the forthcoming exhibition, visit the Carter’s website.
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