Aperture 240 - Fall 2020

Native America


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Issue Details

This fall, as debates around nationalism and borders in North America reach a fever pitch, Aperture magazine releases “Native America,” a special issue about photography and Indigenous lives, guest edited by the artist Wendy Red Star.

“Native America” 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. Several contributors revisit or reconfigure photographic archives—from writer Rebecca Bengal’s look at the works of Richard Throssel and Horace Poolaw, to artist Duane Linklater’s intervention in a 1995 issue of Aperture, “Strong Hearts,” the magazine’s first volume devoted to Native American photographers.

“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, the stylish self-portraits of Martine Gutierrez, and the speculative mythologies of Karen Miranda Rivadeneira and Guadalupe Maravilla. “Native America” also features contributions by distinguished writers and curators, including strikingly personal reflections from acclaimed poets Tommy Pico and Natalie Diaz.

With additional essential contributions from Rebecca Belmore and Julian Brave NoiseCat, as well as a portfolio from Red Star, the issue looks 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.
Format: Paperback / softback
Publication date: 09-08-2020
ISBN: 9781597114851

Lead support of the “Native America” issue of Aperture magazine is provided in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Henry Luce Foundation. Further generous support is provided by the Philip and Edith Leonian Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Significant support of Aperture magazine is provided by The Kanakia Foundation. Additional lead support is provided by Jon Stryker and Slobodan Randjelović.

Table Of Contents


Marjon Carlos on Dannielle Bowman and the shadows of history

Day Jobs
Jesse Dorris on Duane Michals’s formative trip to Russia

Ekow Eshun on photographs that imagine the fantasies of whiteness

by John Edmonds


People of the Earth
Images, ancestors, and archives
Wendy Red Star in Conversation with Emily Moazami

To Walk in Both Worlds
The portraiture of Richard Throssel and Horace Poolaw
by Rebecca Bengal

Family Days: Three Reflections
—The Picture
by Natalie Diaz

—Quarantine Album
by Tommy Pico

—The Sky and the Spruce
by David Treuer

Kimowan Metchewais: A Kind of Prayer
Language, landscape, and the search for visual sovereignty
by Christopher Green

The Lure of Foraging
Jacqueline Cleveland’s chronicle of Native survivance in western Alaska
by Eve Díaz

The Indigenous Gaze
How has Inuit culture shaped cinema?
by Julian Brave NoiseCat

History Is Present
Alan Michelson evokes a continent’s unfinished stories
A Conversation with Chrissie Iles

All of My Relations
In Rebecca Belmore’s performances, the lives of First Nations women
A Conversation with Wanda Nanibush


Duane Linklater
Introduction by Eungie Joo

Martine Gutierrez
Introduction by Nadiah Rivera Fellah

Marianne Nicolson
Introduction by Miranda Belarde-Lewis

Krista Belle Stewart
Introduction by Philip J. Deloria

Karen Miranda Rivadeneira
Introduction by Yxta Maya Murray

Guadalupe Maravilla
Introduction by Carribean Fragoza

Wendy Red Star
Introduction by Julia Bryan-Wilson


Object Lessons
Nicole Acheampong on Dorothy Trujillo’s Tourist with a Camera, 1978


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