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Auto Immune Response

 Collection
Call Number: WA Photos Folio 220

Content Description

Inkjet prints of photographic images created by Will Wilson for his series, Auto Immune Response (AIR), 2004-2021.

In an artist's statement for the series, Wilson writes that it "takes as its subject the quixotic relationship between a post-apocalyptic Diné (Navajo) man and the devastatingly beautiful, but toxic environment he inhabits," and that "the series is an allegorical investigation of the extraordinarily rapid transformation of Indigenous lifeways, the dis-ease it has caused, and strategies of response that enable cultural survival." Through metaphorical self-portraits created using terrestrial and aerial photography, Wilson envisages a post-apocalyptic future where a Diné man known only as “the protagonist” is a survivor and the viewer follows the figure as they wander through landscapes of detritus and decay.

Locations for the images are chiefly at Dinétah (Diné for "among the people), the ancestral homelands of the Diné at northwestern New Mexico, southwestern Colorado, southeastern Utah, and northeastern Arizona, as well as the Navajo Indian Reservation within it.

Sites identified in the images include the Cholla Power Plant near Joseph City, Arizona; the disposal site for radioactive tailings related to copper and uranium mining near Mexican Hat, Utah, and managed by the United States Department of Energy; hydraulic fracking operations at Aneth, Utah; and the White Mesa Uranium Mill operated by Energy Fuels at White Mesa, Utah.

Titled, dated, and signed by the photographer on versos. Inscriptions on versos of many prints provide contextual information about the images.

Dates

  • 2004-2021

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Auto Immune Response is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Will Wilson on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana, 2021.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically and then alphabetically by title.

Extent

10 Linear Feet (5 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

https://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.wilsonair

Overview

Inkjet prints of photographic images created by Will Wilson for his series, Auto Immune Response (AIR), 2004-2021.

In an artist's statement for the series, Wilson writes that it "takes as its subject the quixotic relationship between a post-apocalyptic Diné (Navajo) man and the devastatingly beautiful, but toxic environment he inhabits," and that "the series is an allegorical investigation of the extraordinarily rapid transformation of Indigenous lifeways, the dis-ease it has caused, and strategies of response that enable cultural survival." Through metaphorical self-portraits created using terrestrial and aerial photography, Wilson envisages a post-apocalyptic future where a Diné man known only as “the protagonist” is a survivor and the viewer follows the figure as they wander through landscapes of detritus and decay.

Will Wilson (born 1969)

Will Wilson is a Diné photographer. He studied photography at Oberlin College (Bachelor of Arts, Studio Art and Art History, 1993) and the University of New Mexico (Master of Fine Arts in Photography, 2002). Since 2014, Wilson has supervised the photography program in the School of Arts, Design and Media Arts at Santa Fe Community College, New Mexico.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, as well as more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

This guide derives from a detailed examination of each print. Titles transcribed from inscriptions on prints and corrected in notes when necessary. Dates in the collection reflect the date of image capture.

Source

Creator

Title
Guide to the Auto Immune Response
Status
Completed
Author
by Matthew Daniel Mason
Date
November 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.