Stephen Foster, Portrait of a Sioux Scout, 2013
Inkjet print for backlit lightbox, 22” x 18”

Stephen Foster, In the Land of the Headhunters: Potlatch Dancers, 2013
Inkjet print for backlit light box, 48" x 60"

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Stephen Foster, Portrait of a Sioux Scout, 2013
Inkjet print for backlit lightbox, 22” x 18”

Stephen Foster, In the Land of the Headhunters: Potlatch Dancers, 2013
Inkjet print for backlit light box, 48" x 60"

Remediating Curtis: Imagining Indigeneity

Using interactive video projection and 3D digital images, Stephen Foster explores in his exhibition Remediating Curtis: Imagining Indigeneity the legacy of the film and photographic work of ethnographer Edward Curtis and his influence on popular images of “Indianness” in contemporary culture. Remediating Curtis: Remix is a video installation that remixes Edward Curtis’s 1914 film, In the Land of the Head Hunters, along with selections of recent and past Hollywood films. A multichannel soundscape interacts with video footage guided by the audience movement. The central image in the video installation is a stereographic animation reconstruction of the original set for the Curtis film. The audience controls (remixes) the sound and video elements through their chosen movements (tracked by motion sensors) within the confines of the gallery space. Foster’s photographic series Toy Portraits, documenting toy Indian figurines in the pictorialist style of Curtis’s portraits, are large-scale backlit inkjet prints for light boxes, presented using stereoscopic techniques. The project is specifically meant to connect the portrait photography of Curtis with the current representations of indigeneity in tourist shops and children’s toys as well as contemporary blockbuster films. Using anaglyph glasses available in the gallery, the stereoscopic effect on the still images and the 3D-modelled video not only references the current film industry obsession with a more immersive experience, as in films like Avatar, but also a kind of nostalgia for ’50s cinematic pop culture.

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