Native America: In Translation, Milwaukee Art Museum
Native America: In Translation, curated by Wendy Red Star, considers the wide-ranging work of photographers and lens-based artists who pose challenging questions about land rights, identity and heritage, and histories of colonialism. The exhibition extends Red Star’s work as guest editor of the Fall 2020 issue of Aperture magazine.
“I was thinking about young Native artists,” says Red Star, “and what would be inspirational and important for them as a road map.” That map spans a diverse array of intergenerational image-making, counting as lodestars the meditative assemblages of Kimowan Metchewais and installation works of Alan Michelson and Marianne Nicolson, the stylish self-portraits of Martine Gutierrez, and the speculative mythologies of Koyoltzintli and Guadalupe Maravilla. With essential contributions from Rebecca Belmore and Jacqueline Cleveland, the exhibition and accompanying Aperture publication look into the historic, often fraught relationship between photography and Native representation, while also offering new perspectives by emerging artists who reimagine what it means to be a citizen in North America today.
Wendy Red Star (born in Billings, Montana, 1981) is a Portland, Oregon–based artist raised on the Apsáalooke (Crow) reservation. Her work is informed both by her cultural heritage and her engagement with many forms of creative expression, including photography, sculpture, video, fiber arts, and performance. An avid researcher of archives and historical narratives, Red Star seeks to recast her research, offering new and unexpected perspectives in work that is at once inquisitive, witty, and unsettling. Red Star holds a BFA from Montana State University, Bozeman, and an MFA in sculpture from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Artists: Rebecca Belmore, Nalikutaar Jacqueline Cleveland, Martine Gutierrez, Duane Linklater, Guadalupe Maravilla, Kimowan Metchewais, Alan Michelson, Koyoltzintli, and Marianne Nicolson.
Image credit: Rebecca Belmore, matriarch, 2018, from the series nindinawemaganidog (all of my relations). Photograph by Henri Robideau