Ancestral explores how Indigenous peoples have been misrepresented through art and popular culture and how these misrepresentations and questionable stereotypes are a subtle form of corporeal containment. Meryl McMaster appropriated 19th century photographic portraits and paintings taken by Edward S. Curtis, Will Soule and George Catlin who were guilty of misrepresenting Indigenous peoples through their ideas and artwork. Historically, these mediums were used to capture otherness – to freeze cultures and people only to be gazed at. Using a digital projector to project their images onto herself and her father’s body this began the process of reclaiming her ancestors’ identity and voice from these images and allow time to collapse for them to step through her into the present.
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