Apache, 2011


As a member of The Apache Tribe of Oklahoma, my tribal blood quantum was enough to permit enrollment, granting me equal benefits that full blood indigenous peoples of my tribe receive. It also allowed me to identify myself as an American Indian, although I usually associate myself as being white. I was raised outside the Indian Nations, and as a result I had no social ties to my Apache and Comanche family. This eventually led me to investigate the history of the American Indian and to question my own identity in relation to my native ancestors.

In this body of work I am looking at my disconnection with my tribe as well as how Native Americans have been portrayed in film and television. These images address issues of dominance and submission. Using vulnerable pauses, I attempted to create idealizations of resistance in the form of implied aggression and isolation, implementing the terrain of the Southwest as a zeitgeist that echoes portrayals of the Native Americans. The photographs become reminiscent of communicating ideas of preservation and loss, and as a result they perpetuate the state of trying to remain within the moment. Though my skin is light, I believe there are layers differentiating "being" opposed to "appearing", what we cannot see versus what is obvious on the surface. Interestingly, the viewer may find their self questioning whether they are stereotyping the cultural references that the images imbue.

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