Indigenous to Peru and adopted into a working-class transracial family, Tarrah Krajnak is a photo-based artist whose early experience established her ongoing artistic preoccupation with forgotten landscapes, orphanhood, exile, race, origins, and the way these constructs are written on the body and in the archive. Her current project explores the modernist canon within the history of landscape photography—one that is deeply rooted in colonial expansionism and indigenous genocide. Krajnak uses Ansel Adam’s iconic guidebook “Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs” and inserts her own photographs over Adams’ while using her body, hair, and hands to redact his words and erase his photographs. According to Krajnak, native poet Natalie Diaz and artist Ana Mendieta continue to shape Krajnak’s understanding of embodied memory while Ansel Adams and Walker Evans inspire her darkroom practice and interest in the photograph as lyric document.
(Excerpt and image above selected from grant proposal. Artwork is copyright of the artist.)