Spiral Lands writes an extensive photographic and textual historiography, drawing out the implications of land and identity in personal experience, traditions, history and ideology to examine critically how these implications frame and determine our (mis)understanding of identity and the contemporary U.S.A today. Taking the context of the Navajo Nation and the surrounding Pueblos (the American Southwest) as an example, the project works itself non-linearly through different aspects of the historic encounters of first European settlers, then Euro-Americans, with this land and its people. Not stopping in the past but engaging the present moment, Andrea Geyer (1971) looks critically at records, documents, stories, drawings, and photography that construct the complex history of North America and the identity of its people.

Spiral Lands / Chapter 1 consists of a series of 17 photographic diptychs and 2 triptychs each framed with a text written by Geyer. The text interweaves quotes and historic documents with the voice of a traveler and photographer exploring the Southwest. Chapter 1 investigates the role of photography in the ongoing appropriation of indigenous lands by revealing the scopic regimes that this medium brought and brings with it.

Spiral Lands / Chapter 2 takes the form of a slide projection piece with a voiceover. This chapter focuses on the role of ‘the scholar’ or ‘the researcher’ who for 150 years has fostered an ongoing fascination with the American Southwest. Addressing the western concept of ‘landscape’ Geyer is pointing to the fact that visualization is and has been always a sophisticated ideological device, revealing as much of what stands behind the camera as what is found in front.

Spiral Lands / Chapter 3 is a collaboration with Simon J.Ortiz, a writer and a professor of Indigenous literature. An ongoing project, Chapter 3 is a document of a dialogue between two people, between text and image, photography and poetry, in which each element independently reaches out to the other.

Andrea Geyer - Spiral Lands is supported by IFA - Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen

Spiral Lands / Chapter 2, Andrea Geyer 2008. Courtesy the ArtistSpiral Lands / Chapter 2, Andrea Geyer 2008. Courtesy the ArtistSpiral Lands / Chapter 2, Andrea Geyer 2008. Courtesy the Artist  
  • Tue 27.4.2010 - Sat 19.6.2010
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