Image credit: New Red Order, Land Acknowledgment, 2021. Still from video. Courtesy the artists.

Screening: Anti-Ethnography

February 8 – 14, 2021
Presented online. Please register to receive a virtual ticket to access the program.

Presented in partnership with DOXA, and aligned with New Red Order’s exhibition Give it Back at Audain Gallery, this screening program examines the violence inherent in the ethnographic impulse, unveiling the absurd fetishism underpinning the discipline.

For Indigenous peoples, the camera is a dangerous weapon, one that has been wielded against them since the device’s inception. Anthropology's obsession with preserving images of so-called vanishing cultures, through ethnographic films or, relatedly, archives filled with boxes of ancestral remains, has long been a tool used to colonize and oppress Indigenous peoples.

By relegating Indigenous identities to the past, and forcing Indigenous people to authenticate themselves through this past, their existence as contemporary individuals living in a colonized land is denied. It is in this sense that ethnography confines Indigenous agency.

The ethnographer's encapsulating gaze ignores the fact that, for Indigenous communities, tradition is not an immutable set of truths handed down by revelation, but a set of ever-evolving social practices whose continuity cannot be repaired by preservation, only elaborated through struggle and, finally, achieved under conditions of genuine self-determination. In the works assembled for this screening, the power of Indigenous people claiming the camera for themselves is explored.

The Anti-Ethnography screening is free and open to all regions. Please register to receive a virtual ticket to access the program. Once the program is unlocked, the viewer will have 24 hours to finish watching the program. 

Anti-Ethnography Program:

Land Acknowledgment, New Red Order, 2021

Sioux Ghost Dance, W.K.L. Dickson/Thomas Edison, 1894

Welcome to the Third World, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, 2004

Auntie Beachress — Are You Looking at Me?, Tonia Jo Hall, 2015

Overweight with Crooked Teeth, Shelley Niro, 1997

Instant Identity Ritual, Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Gustavo Vázquez, 2007

Alphabet City Serenade, Diane Burns, 1992

Bizarre Thanksgiving Performance Ritual, Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Gustavo Vázquez, 2013

Auntie Beachress — Lakota Language Challenge, Tonia Jo Hall, 2015

wawa, Sky Hopinka, 2014

Auntie Beachress — Only Boring People Get Bored, Tonia Jo Hall, 2015

Mobilize, Caroline Monnet, 2015

Dance to Miss Chief, Kent Monkman, 2010

Native Fantasy: Germany’s Indian Heroes, Axel Gerdau, Erik Olsen, and John Woo of The New York Times, 2014

The Violence of a Civilization without Secrets, Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, and Jackson Polys, 2018

We Only Answer Our Land Line, Woodrow Hunt and Olivia Camfield, 2019

Reclamation, Thirza Jean Cuthand, 2018

Auntie Beachress — Life's Struggles, Tonia Jo Hall, 2015

Curated by New Red Order