BUAG presents DIGNITY: Tribes in Transition A Collection of Iconic Photographs by Dana Gluckstein

Boston, MA – Boston University Art Gallery at the Stone Gallery is pleased to present
DIGNITY: Tribes in Transition, an exquisite photography exhibition by Dana Gluckstein, honoring Indigenous Peoples worldwide — January 30 – March 29.

DIGNITY: Tribes in Transition

Dates and Events: Friday, January 30 – Sunday, March 29 (closed March 7 – 16)
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 29, 6–8pm
Featuring a talk by Dana Gluckstein and Faithkeeper Oren R. Lyons
Location: Boston University Art Gallery at the Stone Gallery (855 Commonwealth Ave)
Exhibition and Gallery Events are Free and Open to the Public

The sixty black-and-white portraits, spanning three decades, distill the universality of experience that links us all without diminishing the dignity of the individual. Whether photographing a Haitian healer or a San Bushmen chief, Gluckstein infuses each portrait with an essential human grace.

From photographing political icons and celebrities to award-winning advertising projects, Gluckstein is a museum-collected photographer, with fine artworks in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Gluckstein is best known for her “clear attempt to reinvest portraiture with that something that was lost some time ago,” as noted by former LACMA photography curator and prolific scholar Robert A. Sobieszek. “The dispassionate remove common to most modern portraits is all but absent in these images; in its stead is a passionate complicity between artist and sitter that allows each subject to be memorialized with both beauty and grace.” In a field in which indigenous cultures are often exploited and objectified for their “exoticism,” Gluckstein’s images reinvest their portraiture with soul.

Gluckstein’s stunning photographs express the theme of tribes in transition by capturing the fleeting period in world history where traditional and contemporary cultures collide. “The Indigenous Peoples have a gift to give that the world needs desperately, this reminder that we are made for harmony, for interdependence,” states Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu in DIGNITY. “If we are ever to prosper, it will only be together…The work of Dana Gluckstein helps us to truly see, not just appearances, but essences, to see as God sees us, not just the physical form, but also the luminous soul that shines through us.”

DIGNITY’s power, artistry, and impassioned call to action create a historic exhibition in support of Indigenous Peoples — who comprise six percent of the global population and are amongst its most impoverished and oppressed inhabitants. DIGNITY is intended to give a fuller awareness of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The declaration was adopted by 144 countries in 2007 even though the U.S., Australia, Canada, and New Zealand voted against the declaration. In December 2010, the U.S. adopted the declaration following the other three countries. The declaration is the most comprehensive global statement of the measures every government should enact to ensure the survival, dignity, and well-being of Indigenous Peoples around the world. DIGNITY exhibited at the United Nations in Geneva in 2011 sponsored by the U.S. Gluckstein spoke at the World Economic Forum, in 2013, in Davos, Switzerland on how art can impact the state of the world. DIGNITY begins its U.S. tour at the Boston University of Art Gallery after several years of touring museums in Europe.

By sharing the exquisite portraits, Gluckstein hopes to raise awareness around Amnesty International’s campaign to ensure Indigenous women can access post-rape care. She hopes her audience will join her in urging President Obama to enforce the Indian Health Services to implement Standardized Sexual Assault Protocols, which were adopted in The Tribal Law and Order Act, passed in 2010. The protocols include full and equal access to emergency contraception, rape kits, including prophylactic medications against sexually transmitted infections and immunizations, when appropriate. The lack of implementation of standardized sexual assault protocols is leaving Indigenous women at risk and contributes to violations of their human right to health and non-discrimination.

Following the exhibition at Boston University, DIGNITY: Tribes in Transition will travel to the following institutions:
N’Namdi Gallery, Detroit, MI — June 11, 2015
Brown University, Providence, RI — September 15, 2015
Amarillo Museum of Art, Amarillo, TX — 2016

Dana Gluckstein has photographed iconic figures such as Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Desmond Tutu, and Muhammad Ali, as well as award-winning advertising campaigns for clients like Apple and Toyota. Her book, DIGNITY: In Honor of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the associated international museum exhibition, DIGNITY: Tribes in Transition have received international acclaim and awards. http://www.danagluckstein.com/

Gluckstein graduated from Stanford University, where she studied psychology, painting, and photography, and realized the power of images to shape consciousness. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

Faithkeeper Oren R. Lyons, Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation, co-founded the Working Group on Indigenous Populations for the United Nations in 1982, and helped develop the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. As a revered Native American elder and scholar, he has sat on the Council of Chiefs of the Six Nations in New York since 1967 and taught Native American studies for 37 years as a Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at New York State University at Buffalo. He is guided by the Six Nations’ democratic principles of governance by the people, which requires decision-making on behalf of the “seventh generation coming.”

The Boston University Art Gallery at the Stone Gallery is located at 855 Commonwealth Avenue, inside the College of Fine Arts. The gallery is located on the Boston University campus (BU West T stop on the “B” Green Line). Gallery hours are Tuesday–Friday from 11am–5pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 1pm–5pm. (Closed Mondays and Holidays). For more information, visit bu.edu/art.

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