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Olivia Kristoff is a co-curator of Depth of Field, which is on display at Wanuskewin Heritage Park. Depth of Field is a survey of photos by six Indigenous artists. Photo taken in Saskatoon, SK on Friday, January 28, 2022. PHOTO BY MATT SMITH /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

'The light coming through': Depth of Field at Wanuskewin explores Indigenous lived experience

The photography exhibition, running until April, shares the work of six Indigenous artists subverting the colonial gaze.

There’s power in photos, Olivia Kristoff (BA'19) says in an interview with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, which is why it’s important to consider who’s wielding it.

Kristoff and Leah Taylor (BFA'04) are co-curators of Depth of Field, an exhibition at Wanuskewin Heritage Park featuring the work of six Indigenous artists — Greg Staats, Lori Blondeau (MFA'03), Joi Arcand (BFA'06), Jeffrey Thomas, Jane Ash Poitras and Mary Longman.

The photos on the walls of Wanuskewin’s west gallery are engaged in working against the medium’s use as a tool of assimilation by showing the lived realities of Indigenous people, Kristoff said.

“Historically, we would often see photography as this controlling technology; it was used as a settler colonial act to reduce and essentialize Indigenous people, or even completely erase their presence,” Kristoff said.

That continues today, she added.

“All of these artists are using their photography to change that narrative. They’re using photography as this assertion of sovereignty and self-representation.”

Read the full article at https://thestarphoenix.com.

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