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Podcast: Auto Immune Response—Will Wilson’s Photographic Past, Present, and Future

Will Wilson is a trans-customary Diné artist whose work explores Native ideas of the future blended with the past. Though Wilson is mostly known as a photographer, his work also encompasses installation, mixed media, and digital media. Anyone following the Portland Art Museum for the past few years might also recognize Wilson from an exhibition featuring his work along with other contemporary Native artists as they relate to the photographs of Edward Curtis.

Hosting this episode is the Portland Art Museum’s Curator of Native American Art, Kathleen Ash-Milby. Kathleen is also joined by John P. Lukavic, the Denver Art Museum’s Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Native Arts. Both the Portland Art Museum and Denver Art Museum’s collections contain works by Will Wilson. Kathleen and John talk to Will about his career, especially the series Auto Immune Response, a photographic vision of a post-apocalyptic future through a Navajo lens, which contains imagery that feels especially relevant today, as it deals with complex environmental and social issues.

This episode of Art Unbound is part of a series produced with funds provided by FRAME, the French American Museum Exchange, of which both the Portland Art Museum and the Denver Art Museum are members. FRAME is a consortium of 32 major museums in France and North America that promotes cultural exchange in the context of museum collaborations. FRAME fosters partnerships among its member museums to develop innovative exhibitions, educational and public programs, and professional exchanges among museum staff, and maintains a website to reach global audiences. For more information, visit the newly re-designed framemuseums.org

Featured in this episode:

Kathleen Ash-MilbyCurator of Native American Art, Portland Art Museum
John P. LukavicAndrew W. Mellon Curator of Native Arts, Denver Art Museum
Will WilsonDiné Artist

Mentioned in this episode:

Produced by Jon Richardson
Music by Mark Orton

Want to submit an idea for a future episode of the podcast? Fill out the form at pam.to/podcastidea—if your idea fits within the scope of the Museum’s mission, we can work together to bring it to life.