The Boston Globe
June 17, 2023 - Mark Feeney
June 16, 2023 - Bonnie Donohoe, Jim Dow, and Eulogio Guzmán
June 6, 2023 - The MIT Press with Afterword by Ramona Emerson
A poignant artistic collaboration, showing how history and mythology converge in the Navajo communities in and around Gallup, New Mexico.
Taking a fresh approach to personal documentary, Gallup combines Roswell Angier's photographs, Susan Hawley's watercolor paintings, and both of their journal entries, as they explore the time they spent in Gallup, New Mexico in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Gallup is a place where histories and myths meet, and Angier and Hawley work through diverse media to portray a place where many versions of Native and American life have flowed together. They show that Gallup is both beautiful and difficult to know, in a way that reflects the long shadow of Native American disenfranchisement.
Sober about social realities, Angier and Hawley nevertheless find lighthearted humor in the daily life of Gallup. They take us from the Navajo creation story to motels, from a rodeo to an inherited suitcase of Plains Indian artifacts. Through images, we travel from Canyon de Chelly to Chaco Canyon, from fast food joints to bars. Beyond the picturesque clichés offered by the desert, full of Airstream trailers and sunsets, we find struggles over personal and group identity at one of America's crossroads, where a billboard once read “Welcome to the Indian Capital of the World.”
May 17, 2023 - Interview by Thomas Waver
Navajo cowboys impersonating John Wayne: Roswell Angier’s best photograph
‘This was taken in the Indian Head Bar, a seedy place in Arizona. The men were fascinated by Wayne since The Hallelujah Trail was filmed around there. Yet Wayne wasn’t in it.'
Before I actually went there, I knew nothing about the town of Gallup in New Mexico. I was familiar with a Robert Frank photograph of a sombre Navajo cowboy, taken surreptitiously in a bar there in the 1950s that was published in his classic book The Americans. The picture stayed with me. The place did not. But I decided to go there because of an exchange I had with my father in 1966...
image: ‘An in-between place where people collided with each other’ … Indian Head Bar, 1980 by Roswell Angier.
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