New York

Elaine Reichek

Grey Art Gallery

Irony is readily apparent in Elaine Reichek’s “Native Intelligence,” an exhibition that juxtaposes Western images of Native American Indians and domestic crafts traditionally synonymous with “women’s work.” Among the many 19th-and 20th-century references to the indigenous cultures of the so-called New World Reichek employs are reproductions of historical photographs by Edward S. Curtis, who traveled the American West recording vanishing tribal life. Reichek presents objects in tandem (two-dimensional shapes of tepees in grainy black and white photographs with three-dimensional knitted tepee forms of Reichek’s own design and making) to establish parallels between types of “Others” and varying manifestations of oppression. The implications of such comparisons are less than immediate; one must be willing to trek beyond the familiar territories of multiculturalism and the subjugation of women

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