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Collapsing Time

Artist Dakota Mace uses photography as a key to decode native history and beliefs.

The Navajo population, originating in the Northwestern part of the American continent, prefer to be called the “Diné", meaning “The People”. Until 1978 they were forbidden to perform ceremonies and visit their sacred sites, which they worshipped since a long time before the birth of the United States. Diné artist Dakota Mace worked within her own community asking people to select a memory, object or landscape which had become a sacred place for them.

Photography, traditionally seen by the Diné as a tool of oppression, for the artist becomes a way to experiment with chemical processes, symbols and the land’s native materials, shying away from the colonial tendency to illustrate or represent. Cyanotypes are exposed to the unpredictable action of the natural elements while the color red symbolically refers to the past, present, and future coming together, in a project intended as a reminder that Indigenous people are the original caretakers of the land that they reside on.

“Diné Bé’ Iiná” by Dakota Mace is on view at
Bruce Silverstein Gallery
until June 25.

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