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Will Wilson: Auto-Immune Response

Photograph from Will Wilson Event

Will Wilson
Auto-Immune Response
November 18, 2019 | 12:30 pm
JCM 2121



Diné photographer Will Wilson talks about his work, which offers a counter narrative to romanticized visions of Native people that fix them in an unchanging past.



The Auto-Immune Response series is an allegorical investigation of the extraordinarily rapid transformation of Indigenous lifeways, the dis-ease it has caused, and strategies of response that enable cultural survival. Will Wilson uses installations and photography to evoke the situation confronting indigenous communities and the world today. Since 2005, Will Wilson has been creating a series of artworks entitled Auto Immune Response, which take as their subject the quixotic relationship between a post-apocalyptic Diné (Navajo) man and the devastatingly beautiful, but toxic environment he inhabits. This lecture is part of his work exploring science, technology, apocalypse and native survival. A Ph.D in photography, Wilson is a Professor of Photography at Santa Fe College and King Fellow Artist in Residence at the School of Advanced Research.

William (Will) Wilson is a Diné photographer who spent his formative years living in the Navajo Nation.  Born in San Francisco in 1969, Wilson studied photography at the University of New Mexico (Dissertation Tracked MFA in Photography, 2002) and Oberlin College (BA, Studio Art and Art History, 1993).  In 2007, Wilson won the Native American Fine Art Fellowship from the Eiteljorg Museum, and in 2010 was awarded a prestigious grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation.  Wilson has held visiting professorships at the Institute of American Indian Arts (1999-2000), Oberlin College (2000-01), and the University of Arizona (2006-08).  From 2009 to 2011, Wilson managed the National Vision Project, a Ford Foundation funded initiative at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, and helped to coordinate the New Mexico Arts Temporary Installations Made for the Environment (TIME) program on the Navajo Nation.  Wilson is part of the Science and Arts Research Collaborative (SARC) which brings together artists interested in using science and technology in their practice with collaborators from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia Labs as part of the International Symposium on Electronic Arts, 2012 (ISEA). Recently, Wilson completed an exhibition and artist residency at the Denver Art Museum and is currently the King Fellow artist in residence at the School of Advanced Research in Santa Fe, NM.