Fieldwork. Excavation of the floor of a dwelling in a former Sto:lo nation village, Greenwood Island Hope, British Columbia August, 2003. Anthony Graesch, Department of Anthropology, University of California at Los Angeles, working with Riley Lewis


Jeff Wall (Canadian, born 1946)




Dye destruction transparency in aluminum light box


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Purchase with funds from Buck and Kay Goldstein, Joan N. Whitcomb, Charlotte Dixon, High Museum of Art Enhancement Fund, and General Acquisitions Fund

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Here the final image is not singular, but is rather a manipulation of images taken over a period of three weeks. The effect is not to record a moment, but rather to document a specific, performed event: a scientific expedition in British Columbia being carried out on the ancestral property of the Sto:lo Nation, an aboriginal culture that, much like Native North Americans in the United States, were driven from their land. Beside the scientists stands a figure, likely a descendant of the very people who once occupied that land, displaced by those so keen on preservation. In this way, Wall merges photography, performance art, cinema, and painting, exploring the social-historical tradition of documentary photography and the concerns of realist history painting.

Image Copyright

© Jeff Wall, courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery, New York

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