About the BookThis 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.