From May 24 to November 18, 2012
Photos of This Gallery
Edward Sheriff Curtis roamed our lands, followed in our footsteps, learned our languages, and underwent some of our initiation rituals so that we adopted him.
This artist sought to encapsulate our collective memory through the 40,000 images that his camera recorded.
The Elders Called Curtis the Shadow Catcher.
His photography includes many contrived portraits which had such impact that they created the stereotype of the aquiline Indian as the whiteman's opposite.
His breathtaking landscapes also set the stage for Hollywood's dualistic ''Cowboys and Indians.''
Yet the Key to His Work Lies Elsewhere.
As a native Tsie8ei, Wendat (Huron) who values art, I heartily encourage you to see, discuss, and reinterpret this vivid cross section of the photographic project beyond measure that Curtis undertook, especially since this marks its first showing in Hochelaga/Montreal.
His art owes its breadth of vision to the contours of the Amerindian worldview. In this vein Curtis presents : spectacular vistas of native encampments, furrowed faces, bands of mounted warriors, children all wrapped up for a portage, basketry that stylized women's know-how, and the rites of medecine men.
Sporting headdresses while bedecked in fine embroidery and exquisite beadwork, these peoples' proud poses hark back to time immemorial. Although they evoke an internalized exodus, these images resonate so much with current native resurgency's voices and rhythms that the 'eye hears' them loud and clear.
They carry a hopeful message from tribe to tribe because these photographs perennially reveal the indomitable peoples who still inhabit this yet untamed North America.
The text above by Guy Sioui-Durand, sociologist, artist, and member of the Huron-Wendat community, adds an invaluable dimension to this exhibit.