Diné photographer Will Wilson’s ongoing Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange (CIPX) project is dedicated to creating a contemporary vision of Native North America.
At the turn of the twentieth century, American photographer Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868-1952) embarked on a journey to produce a series of portfolios that documented Native Americans and their ways of life. The results, published as The North American Indian (1907-1930), were decidedly romantic while being received as reality. Curtis reduced his subjects to archetypes rather than allowing for personal agency. He would often provide props and worked diligently to ensure no examples of modern life appeared in his constructed scenes.
For Wilson, CIPX is a way to create new conversations that decenter the work of Curtis and instead emphasizes exchange over problematic documentation.
“Curtis created the most comprehensive archive of indigenous North Americans, and now contemporary artists want to take that authority back and create archives of who they believe themselves to be.”
– Will Wilson
Generous support provided by Art Bridges