In Conversation: Will Wilson features a selection of works from Diné (Navajo) photographer Will Wilson’s ongoing Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange (CIPX) project in dialogue with photographs by Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868–1952). Wilson explores the relationship of science, identity, agency, and representation in photography while also considering the lasting legacy of historical photographs on the representation of Native peoples in North America. Wilson responds directly to the work of Curtis, who is best known for his 20-volume The North American Indian (1907–1930), which was created as a way to capture the supposed vanishing race of Native Americans while also helping to shape public perception of Native peoples. Wilson’s ongoing Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange (CIPX) directly addresses these misconceptions through his use of historical photographic techniques and emphasis on a reciprocal relationship with the sitters, which allows for agency over all aspects of their presentation. Wilson pushes the CIPX project even further with the inclusion of “Talking Tintypes,” which uses AR technology in a convenient app to bring photographs to life. In Conversation is a contemporary exploration of the science of photography but also a response to the historical impact and importance of (self-) representation.

In Conversation: Will Wilson features 16 works by Curtis and 17 works by Wilson. The Wilson photographs range from 50 x 40 inches to 20 x 17 inches and include 5 Talking Tintypes.

Generous support for this project provided by Art Bridges.

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