Facing the Camera, Rosalie Favell’s expansive portraiture project, began at an indigenous artist residency to which the artist arrived late – “not by hours,” she said. “But by weeks.” Uncertain of what to make, she drew inspiration from the extraordinary colleagues who had convened at the residency. She decided to create a large-format portrait series of other artists at the residency, hosted at the Banff Center for the Arts.
“Afterwards when I got back home, I thought ‘Hmm, there’s something here, I would love to represent more artists, more indigenous artists working in the world that I work in,” she said.
On September 27, 2023, Favell spoke to listeners at the opening conversation for Rosalie Favell: Indigenous Artists Facing the Camera, the first major U.S. exhibition of her “Facing the Camera” series. Since beginning in 2008, “Facing the Camera” has become a monumental archive that includes portraits of over 500 Indigenous artists and arts professionals taken across Canada, the United States, and Australia over more than ten years. The Block’s exhibition features over 100 portraits from the series as well as new work created during Favell’s spring 2023 Block residency that expands the series to include portraits of Chicagoland artists.
Watch the Conversation
Working as a photographer in the dark room or taking pictures, it was a very solitary practice. So to be able to meet people and expand my world was really meaningful to me. And to be able to represent and introduce people to the artists and curators and educators that worked in the indigenous art field, I felt really good and I wanted to contribute and give something back and preserve this moment in time for future generations that will look back and say, ‘Wow, we didn’t know there were that many indigenous artists out there.’– Rosalie Favell