For the past decade, Washington State photographer Sharon Eva Grainger has been working closely with the U’mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay, BC to document the daily and ceremonial lives of Kwakwaka’wakw community members. One of her projects has involved collaborating to re-stage historic photographs by Edward Curtis. For each photo-shoot, Grainger discusses the Curtis image with her models and asks them how they wish to be dressed and posed. This exhibit brings together twenty of Grainger’s images with the original Curtis photos. Beyond the clear visual and historical resonance, all of these portraits reveal the subtle social relations behind the photographic encounter. They suggest that we might re-view Curtis’s work as the result of similar processes of negotiation—as products of both colonial romanticism and Kwakwaka’wakw self-assertion.
Organized by Sharon Eva Grainger, Aaron Glass, and the U’mista Cultural Centre for the public presentation of Curtis’s 1914 film, "In the Land of the Head Hunters."