Tuesday, October 30, 2012
After long consideration I plan on shooting two Native American pow wow events here in MKE. I want my photos and subjects to comment on Edward S Curtis's work. I want to capture the difference of space and the integration of contemporary style fused with the traditional Native American regalia being worn by the subjects. I want my work to comment on Curtis's but allowing my own work to surface through the use of my subject's contemporary style and the surrounding sterile environment or spaces to create multiple truths. I want to reveal a memory about the work of Edward S Curtis through my own work.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
"Lake of the living spirits"
Devil's Lake the "lake of the living spirits" was the primary summer destination for our family while I was a young boy growing up, it is located in the Baraboo area of Wisconsin. The deep salt rich cold water lake was created by the glaciers during the last ice age about 12,000 years ago. One thousand years ago Native Americans built three effigy mounds surrounding the lake and used the perimeter as a burial ground for their deceased. Legend has it there was a creature that lived in the lake that looked a lot in appearance like the Loch Ness Monster that pulled several Native American Indians and white settlers under the lake, it is rumored that there is a deep underwater outlet to the lake. Suggestions have also said the lake monster may have been a Plesiosaur that found its way into the lake during the last ice age. This is the lake where my sister and I almost drowned when I was seven and she was six, I can't say for sure if it was the monster that pulled my sister down under or if it was the Water Spirit that lives in the lake that helped us to safety but this is what I eventually came to believe and what started to make sense for me over the years. I haven't stepped foot in the lake since that day, these are some of the images that I saw that frightening day and continue to see whenever I revisit.
The Sioux called the lake "Tay wa ka cha gra," the translation means Holy Lake, Sacred Lake or Spirit Lake but white settlers changed the name from Spirit Lake to Devil's lake. The lake just had it's 100th year of being founded in 2011.