Kiki Smith | Underneath Woven Secrets

Set back on a slightly desolate street in Queens, New York stands a stark modern private museum, Emily Fisher Landau Center, that holds a bestilling permanet collection and rotating set of rare exhibitions. Artist Kiki Smith found herself engulfed in an exhibit of Native American objects in the Summer of 2001. She was invited to photograph them through the lens of her own unique perspective.   

Once a week, she silently parsed through the objects with a curiosity that turned to a morphed longing and a new visual understanding. She used real film to capture the small details of woven baskets, porcupine quills and worn-leather moccasins resulting in unconventional documents. Her images offer an alternate view of ancient meaning and the their modern capture.

You can have fantasies about having control over the world, but I know I can barely control my kitchen sink. That is the grace I am given. Because when one can control things, one is limited to one's own vision. -Kiki Smith

Words by Brit Parks

Kiki Smith Portrait, source unknown
Kiki Smith, Untitled Sculpture
Kiki Smith, Untitled Lithograph, 1990
Kiki Smith, Lying With the Wolf, 2001
(Previous page) Elizabeth Conrad Hickox (Karuk
Basket of conifer root, maidenhair fern stems, porcupine quills, hazel shoots



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