INDIGENOUS IDENTITY can be highly convoluted and fraught. Ho-Chunk photographer Tom Jones explores this complexity in his series “Identity Genocide” (2012–13). Jones overlays photographic portraits of Ho-Chunk children who were denied tribal citizenship with text such as INELIGIBLE, REMOVED, or NOT RECOGNIZED. He provides captions detailing his subjects’ stories. Sometimes parents cannot enroll their children in their tribe. Sometimes one person can enroll while their sibling cannot. But complexity doesn’t mean that curators and art historians can simply throw up their hands and give up trying to understand the situation. The solution is to consult the tribes in question. If curators, critics, and historians don’t like the answers, the problem lies with them, not the tribes.
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