Museum of Anthropology, from the series Artifacts of Authenticity
I'm showing the new photo series made in collaboration with my good friend Sonny Assu in his solo exhibition at the West Vancouver Museum. The opening reception is Tuesday, September 13 @7pm.
Artifacts of Authenticity is a collaborative project between Sonny Assu and Eric Deis that deals with the issues of reclaiming identity and space by documenting the waste of the dominant affluent culture. Through as series of photographs, they have explored the conventions of anthropological spaces as the perceived voice of authenticity for indigenous artifacts.
Photographing discarded cedar objects in-situ, Artifacts of Authenticity challenges the three eyes of “authority” placed upon Aboriginal arts and culture: The Anthropology institution, the Commercial Art Gallery and the stereotypical tourist trap. Through their images, they have utilized the camera as a conceptual record of "authority" and captured the cedar objects in circumstances staged solely for the camera.
The series is an inversion of authoritative voice of the anthropologists; the gallerist; the curators; the historians and the purveyors of the stereotype for the tourist. It calls into question the meaning of authenticity of what or who is considered Aboriginal.