Ruth Cuthand - Indian Portraits- Late 20th Century

These are Polaroids that are photocopied onto frosted mylar and then they are painted with coloured ink. And in this series there are actually 45 of them, and they’re called Indian Portraits Late 20th Century. And by the end of the ‘90s I wanted to do something fun, and I wanted to include other people because my work is usually quite introspective. And so I found this little toy headdress that says “brave chief” on it and it’s got little coloured chicken feathers. And I gave it to Indian people of all ages - young, old, students - anybody that wanted to do it. And they could wear it, or they could hold - they could do whatever they wanted to do with it. I was sort of thinking about Edward Curtis in the late 19th century when he went around photographing Indians and he was looking for the vanishing Indian. And he also had a little suitcase that had props for people who had actually lost their culture, and then he would just give them a headdress or something to hold. And he was looking for like the really serious sort of Indian person facing their own demise because they were suppose to be banishing…they were going to die off. And in this one I wanted people just having fun and enjoying themselves and laughing, and I wanted to represent that rather than the “oh, oh woe is” me kind of thing.

Duration: 1:58 min
Size: 8728kb

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