Peters Projects, 1011 Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, is pleased to present Diné (Navajo) artist Will Wilson and his solo exhibition AIR, opening on Friday, December 16th running through February 18, 2017. Peters Projects will host an opening reception from 5-7 pm. on Friday, December 16. In addition, the gallery will host a discussion with Will Wilson and the Autry Museum of the West Chief Curator, Amy Scott on Friday, January 13, 2017, 4pm.
Will Wilson has described AIR (Auto Immune Response) multi-media series as a dialogue with “a post-apocalyptic Navajo man’s journey through an uninhabited landscape.” Will Wilson uses self-portrait as the main character searching for answers about survival: Where has everyone gone? What has occurred to transform the familiar and strange landscape that he wanders? Why has the land become toxic to him? How will he respond, survive, reconnect to the earth?” Wilson creates tension in his photography and installations as the artist believes that Indigenous people remain responsible for protecting the environment and its future for all species. This story underlies the “quixotic relationship between a post-apocalyptic Diné (Navajo) man and the devastatingly beautiful, but toxic environment he inhabits.”
The exhibition will include Will Wilson’s large format photographs from his AIR series and an installation in Peters Projects’ largest gallery space based on his greenhouse Hogan. The 10 ft diameter metal greenhouse is created by the artist to replicate a traditional Navajo dwelling. The greenhouse is covered with air plants, symbolizing survival in this imagined post-apocalyptic environment. Inside is a metal cot designed by the artist with woven plastic tubing of running water that simulates the flow of blood in veins, and illustrating that botany cultivates vital resources that cannot be ignored in the post-nuclear world. As Will Wilson states: “My hope is that this project will serve as a pollinator, creating formats for exchange and production that question and challenge the social, cultural and environmental systems that surround us.”
The AIR series has been shown in numerous museums, with the latest showing hosted by the Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe. Peters Projects will be the first commercial gallery to make these works available to the public. Will Wilson believes in the “allegorical investigation of the extraordinarily rapid transformation of Indigenous lifeways, the disease it has caused, and strategies of response that enable cultural survival.”