Fishy Buisiness

Business as Unusual

The modern art and photography wing of the Alaska State Museum captured my attention for the majority of my visit. The intersection of tradition and modern cultural perspectives resonated with so much of what we have been discussing in our classes. Dynamic and changing, Alaskans as a people are working to preserve the past while embracing the future. Many of the works in that wing captured the now of Alaskan culture with respectful attention the state’s dynamic past.

Many thanks to SLAM for letting us visit and post media about their wonderful collection!

Snapper Charm

Fran Reed, 2000
ASM 2004-4-2

Snapper Charm
Snapper Charm

Body Fracture

Fran Reed, 2007
ASM 2007-31-1

Body Fracture
Body Fracture

I found these objects really fascinating – it impressed me as a modern retrospective on the indigenous practices of using all parts of an animal for food, tools, and art. The charm is magical in its construction – its familiar and foreign. (It is also a mix of natural and artificial materials). The second piece, Body Fracture seems more grounded as a fleshy reinvention of pottery. The interior texture of the artwork simultaneously intrigues me to touch it and feel the slightest bit nauseous.

Both made by Fran Reed who, according to my research, lives near Anchorage. I did a little bit of searching about Fran, and found out she’s a transplant to Alaska. Her Alaskan artwork grew from using fish skins as a medium. She was adopted into the Tsimshian Killer Whale clan. Her work has been featured around North America and in Europe.
Fran Reed Bio @ Alaska State Museum

1 thought on “Fishy Buisiness”

  1. I like that you made the connection between ancient and modern/functional and artistic with these pieces. The artwork really does seem to evoke a modern rendition of traditional pottery.

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