William (Will) Wilson is a Diné photographer who spent his formative years living in the Navajo Nation. In 2007, Wilson won the Native American Fine Art Fellowship from the Eiteljorg Museum, and in 2010 was awarded a prestigious grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Wilson created The Critical Indigenous Exchange because he was impatient with the way that American culture remains enamored with photographer Edward S. Curtis’s portraits. For many people even today, Native people remain frozen in time in the Curtis photos. Wilson is resuming the documentary mission of Curtis from the standpoint of a 21st century indigenous photographer, building a contemporary vision of Native North America.
Wilson describes his work as an “aim to link history, form, and a critical dialogue about Native American representation by engaging participants in dialogue and a portrait session using the wet plate process.”