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Rhett Arens



The images were taken from Indian Reservations across the Midwestern United States…White Earth, Red Lake, Leech Lake, Fort Berthold, Devils Lake, Standing Rock, Red Cliff, Sisseton, Pine Ridge, Rosebud, Fond du Lac and more. The reservation landscape leads to some interesting juxtapositions: the open-sky against the grounded living conditions; discarded, man-made structures breaking down against time; historical signposts out of context. This led me to some questions…What are the cultural drivers?  Are there commonalities between reservations? Can the portfolio be used to enlighten and improve understanding?

My experience informs me that many people do not understand the conditions on reservations.  I have seen very little in published or exhibited form that addresses the contemporary Reservation landscape. That is significant given the extreme importance of Native American existence within U.S. history. Over the last four generations, Native American culture as changed from one of personal freedom to a subjugated sub-culture defined by ‘Fencelines’.  I think it raises more questions than it answers.
Rhett Aren
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