News for Friday, August 30, 2013

Photographer Will Wilson in Residence at SAR

The School for Advanced Research welcomes acclaimed Diné photographer Will Wilson to the School as the 2013 Rollin and Mary Ella King Native Artist Fellow.

Will WilsonWill Wilson2013 Rollin and Mary Ella King Fellow. Photograph courtesy of Will Wilson.Will Wilson2013 Rollin and Mary Ella King Fellow. Photograph courtesy of Will Wilson.

Will Wilson is widely recognized for his unusual approach to the world of photography. His work highlights an awareness of how photography has been used historically to reinforce negative stereotypes and theories of racial superiority. Wilson’s work incorporates the stories he grew up with on the Navajo nation to show the possibilities of controlling one’s own representation.

In August of 2012 and 2013, Wilson initiated the Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange (CIPX) at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe. He will continue to work on CIPX during his fellowship at SAR. The goal for this ongoing project is to link history, form, and dialogue about Native American representation. Wilson engages his subjects in dialogue during the portrait sessions. He encourages them to bring items of significance to their portrait sessions to help illustrate the dialogue. The multi-faceted process will yield a series of tintypes that carry on the documentary mission of photographer Edward S. Curtis from the standpoint of a twenty-first century indigenous, cultural photographer.

Wilson earned his MFA from UNM, with a concentration on the history of photography. His teaching experience includes stints at UNM, Oberlin College, University of Arizona, and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. Since 1993, Wilson has exhibited at the Heard Museum (Phoenix, AZ), Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, DC), and the Eiteljorg Museum (Indianapolis, IN) as well as galleries across the country.

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