Paper Buck is a transgender interdisciplinary artist and printmaker invested in movements for racial and economic justice. He is currently based in the Shawnee/ Lanape/ Six Nations territories of Pittsburgh, PA.
Current projects include cross-disciplinary works in print, painting, alternative and digital photography, drawing, collage, video and sculptural installation.
My interdisciplinary studio practice involves three core sites of engagement; intimate (written and spoken) narrative, archival and historical research, and direct participation in social movements. A recent long-term body of work, History in the Present, examines the confluence of familial and intimate narratives with broader socio-political histories, as the two merge within collective memory.
By researching collected oral narratives and archival images within their historical context, my work attends to the detailed acts involved in cultural amnesia and national mythology; the intimate erasures produced by trauma, the embellishments of assimilation processes, the steady intergenerational process that ongoing racial and settler colonial formations involve. Working within the discursive realm, I use complex storytelling to recontextualize personal and collective histories, hoping to shift and expand our choices.
Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
Collaged Etchings, Tusche, Acrylic, Ink. 74″ x 62.” 2015.
This piece was made in reference to Paul Gaughin’s 1898 masterpiece by the same title. I sought to invert the colonial ontology of his painting, to resist his move towards appropriation of the other, by instead attempting self-consumption. Here, American history is portrayed as a creation story in which white supremacy and American racial formations take center stage.
My own familial archives are recontextualized within their broader context. The alter-like presentation frames questions of history and justice in the context of spirit. The borders re-utilize screen prints my mother and I composed for the collaborative work Yggdrasil, Irminsul, and the Shadow Twig Scrolls.