Hulleah J Tsinhnahjinnie’s Double Vision is a partnership with the Eiteljorg Museum. Exhibited in the main gallery at iMOCA, it features photos by Tsinhnahjinnie of Tuskegee/Diné tribes. She has worked with the permanent collection of the Great Plains Art Museum to create a series of new works. Through the portal of digital technologies Tsinhnahjinnie transports the sitters of vintage photographs through time, space and technologies.
In their original form, the images are printed as carte-de-visites, cabinet cards, stereopticons, and real photo cards. Their transformation in size from a few inches to up to five feet in size and the infusion of vibrant colors from a muted sepia-toned palette renders the figures to be undeniably present. She further liberates the images from the fixity of photographic paper by producing them on shimmering poly-satin fabric. Mounted inches off the wall, the pieces and subjects seem to be in movement, gently wafting with the breeze of passing by. Paying homage to the Bison and in respect for the peoples of the Plains, she gives voice, agency and presence to the figures to serve as a protagonist.
Tsinhnahjinnie’s works in this series provide an Indigenous perspective from a personal and political response to the archives. The works validate the critical importance of archival materials as evidencing alternate histories when considered in a contemporary context. From selection, to commentary and her own perspective of double vision, Tsinhnahjinnie demonstrates the partnerships between artists, curators and museums in working with archival materials and a way of bringing light to photographs perhaps long forgotten and buried deep within institutional collections.
First presented through the collaboration between the C.N. Gorman Museum and the Great Plains Art Museum at University of Nebraska, Lincoln, iMOCA and the Eiteljorg Museum have partnered to bring Double Vision to Indianapolis.
As part of the UNL’s Geske Lecture series, the exhibition was intended to address arts, history and the regional influence of the Great Plains. The lectureship with C.N. Gorman Museum Curator, Veronica Passalacqua, provided the opportunity to examine the permanent collections of the Great Plains Art Museum.
Photographer, curator and educator, Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie (Navajo/ Creek/ Seminole) was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1954, relocated to the Navajo reservation in 1966, and currently lives in the Southwest. In 1975 she attended the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and in 1978 she studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. She received a B.F.A. in painting with a minor in photography in 1981. She is currently Director of the C.N. Gorman Museum at University of California Davis and Associate Professor in the Department Native American Studies at University of California Davis.
All our programs and exhibitions are made possible with support from The Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, The Efroymson Family Fund, Deer Zink Foundation, the Indianapolis Foundation, The Tracy Haddad Foundation, The Netherleigh Fund, the Indiana Arts Commission, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Murphy Arts L.L.C., Faegre Baker Daniels, Penrod Foundation, and Big Car Art + Design.