August 14, 2008

You stole that! I am outraged!

Up in the Blackfeet country in Montana, Mary Scriver often feels as though she is "trapped in a Louise Erdrich novel."

“Just look at the faces of his sculptures,” she said. “Those are Blackfeet faces! He had no right to steal those faces!”

Evidently in all her city days and education she never encountered the idea of the “portrait,” which is SUPPOSED to look like the person one is portraying! Evidently in her time back on the rez she never picked up the information that the faces looked like the people who posed for the sculptures because Bob asked them and paid them to pose! A few were portrayed using the old photos of Blackfeet that are all over the place in this part of the country, taken when it was still believed that Indians would soon disappear.

Funny, I thought that being offended was something White People Liked.

Read the post as a common-sense meditation on the whole issue of "authenticity."

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