Southern Agenda

Zooming In

Among the huge collection of nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century photography at Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum of American Art are thousands of portraits of Native Americans with stoic faces and dressed in traditional garments—mostly created by white photographers. But those works don’t reflect the vibrant and diverse work coming from Indigenous artists over the last few decades, says the Carter’s curator of photographs, John Rohrbach. Working with the artist, educator, and Navajo citizen Will Wilson, Rohrbach is now helping to expand the museum’s collection of contemporary Indigenous photography. A new exhibition, Speaking with Light (through January 22), highlights some of this work and how Indigenous artists are using a variety of multimedia styles to reflect on their responsibility and connection to the past, present, and future of their communities. Take Cara Romero’s Evolvers, which portrays a group of boys with sunglasses and head feathers running through a Western landscape dotted with tall windmills. Or a video piece by Alan Michelson, which shows the industrial creek that divides Brooklyn from Queens, New York, projected onto a screen of turkey feathers.