Tradition Series: Ivawen

Photograph, Etched Glass


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I've been thinking a lot about the concept of Tradition. Any time I want to understand something, I try to find it's source. What I found out was that the origins of the word tradition is the Latin word "traditio" which means "to surrender knowledge- see also treason"!

I feel that sometimes words can carry it's original meaning, even if it is used differently in contemporary times. As such, I reject the use of "tradition" as a way for non-indian historians to separate any work that doesn't meet their non-indian criteria of what "traditional" Indian art should be. Is the concept of "tradition" being used as a colonizing device even today?


This work is composed of a 20"x30" color photograph of my Dad. The repetition of the word "tradition" that you see has been etched into the glass that covers the image. I sought to interfere with viewing the actual scene with the superimposed text.