The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 03, 1998, Page 10, Image 10

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    Exhibit depicts details of American Indian cultures
By Sarah Baker
Senior staff writer '
The Midwest has a rich history, much of 1
which owes a lot to the contributions of
American Indians. s
But sometimes their diversity and individual c
cultural heritages are overlooked.
“Edward S. Curtis’ Photographs of Plains j
Indians,” opening at the Great Plains Art 1
Collection today, does much to separate the t
American Indian culture into many unique
facets. c
The exhibit, which the Great Plains Art col
lection has been collaborating on for more than <
a year, consists of photos specially selected from 1
Curtis’ large body of work.
Martha Kennedy, curator of the Great Plains (
Art Collection, said this exhibit is one with spe- ]
cial meaning for the museum, which is devoted
in part to celebrating the culture of the Midwest. .
Curtis’ photographs focus on everyday activ- :
ities that portray the normal lives of Plains <
The photos are known for legitimizing the
idea that the American Indians are a disappear- !
ing race and also that they are truly “noble sav
ages.” ;
Kennedy said the works ail have a common,
connecting theme that gives the show added i
“These photos reflect the great diversity
within the Indian culture,” she said. “Often there
s a tendency to generalize, but within this col
ection there is great variety.”
The collection consists of images of land
capes, portraits, housing and scenes of every
lay life and ceremonial tradition.
The show has a wide appeal, and Kennedy
aid she thinks students, especially those study
ng history, anthropology or ethnic studies, will
especially take an interest in the art.
“I hope viewers are stimulated to learn more
ibout these people,” she said.
In accordance with the exhibit, the gallery
ilso is presenting an accompanying symposium
4ov. 13 and 14.
The symposium will feature speakers w'ith
:xpertise on Curtis as well as other photogra
>hers of the Midwest.
The exhibit opens today at the Great Plains
Xrt Collection, 215 Love Library, 13th and R
;treets on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
The gallery is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
vlonday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday and 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Both the exhibit and the symposium are free
ind open to the public.
For more information, call the gallery at
Courtesy Art
EDWARD SHERIFF CURTIS opens his exhibit “Photographs of Plains Indians” Wednesday at
the Great Plains Art Collection in Love Library. He will host a symposium on his work Nov. 13
and 14; pre-registration is advised.
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621 Rose Street, Lincoln
‘Teena’perpetuates too many stereotypes
BRANDON from page 9
Nebraska: most speak with bad
grammar, and, in some cases, their
speech is littered with profanities and
hateful remarks.
Only two of the speakers in the
film, excluding Brandon’s mother,
seemed to have any empathy for her
situation, and even then they seemed
to feel that her demise as a result of
intolerance was unavoidable.
But the people featured in the
movie aren’t the only elements lack
ing a fair portrayal.
Most of the scenic shots of
Nebraska aren’t exactly pretty and
include pictures of the seediest parts
of downtown Lincoln and Falls City.
These hideous shots are then con
trasted with barren snow-covered
fields surrounding Falls City - leav
ing one with a sense of complete des
olation and a bad taste in the mouth
for Nebraska and its residents.
The accompanying twangy, tinny
soundtrack also doesn’t help and only
stands to reinforce the aforemen
tioned stereotypes that Nebraskans
already face - while also annoying
the viewer.
The film as a whole has an unflat
tering and unwelcoming feel to it, but
the story it tells is by no means a
happy one, making the desolate pic
tures almost too obvious.
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The brutal murder and amazing
ignorance of the people who lived in
the town make one realize how things
as horrible as hate crimes can happen
as often as they do.
Most of the people in the film had
no problems using words such as
“fag” or “dyke” to describe Brandon,
and interviews with the two convict
ed murderers only added to the over
whelming ignorance the film so
delights in perpetuating.
But if the ignorance of the mur
derers wasn't enough, the stupidity of
the law-enforcement officials made
up for it, and then some.
In numerous scenes, the film lets
the viewer listen in on interviews
between police officers and Brandon
preceding his impending death that
are more than outrageous.
The police official repeatedly
asks Brandon questions not even
remotely pertaining to the matter at
hand, namely Brandon’s rape.
Most of the questions center on
Brandon’s own personal sexual
encounters outside of the rape and
become quite offensive and explicit,
yet at the same time continue to show
that overwhelming ignorance through
their sheer inappropriateness.
Stories such as this most definite
ly need to be heard, but it is question
able that this film actually makes any
headway in doing so.
The Facts
Title: “The Brandon Teena Story”
Director: Susan Muska, Greta Olafsdottir
Rating: NR
Grade: C
Five Words: Anti-hate film purveys
The horrible tragedy that ended
Brandon’s life is presented convinc
ingly, but at the same time it actively
portrays Nebraska as a state full of
trashy, homophobic chain-smokers
who have zero tolerance for anything
less than “white bread.”
The film is an indictment of the
entire state and its people based on a
small nucleus of intolerance, save for
one or two open-minded people who
never take action.
The idea that Nebraskans would
want to see a film that so blatantly
perpetuates everything they would
normally stand against is another
taste of bitter irony.
A film like this one presumably
has good intentions, but when it ends
up reinforcing more negative ideas
than it chastises, it’s hard to justify
the Ross playing two extra screen
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