Stories is a collection of images created by Dennis influenced by indigenous oral stories and legends. The book was created in conjunction with the Parrish Art Museum’s Road Show exhibit in the summer of 2018. Stories features over seventy unique images based on indigenous stories throughout the United States. The soft-cover books features an introductory text by the Parrish Art Museum’s Special Projects Curator Corinne Erni who curated the Road Show.
For Parrish Road Show, Dennis will present a selection of photographs entitled Stories: Dreams, Myths, and Experiences from the series Stories—Indigenous Oral Stories, Dreams and Myths, which he began in 2013. Inspired by North American indigenous stories, Dennis stages supernatural images that transform these myths and legends to depictions of an actual experience in a photograph. “The themes, aesthetics, morals, and stories of each image attempt to give Native American culture a contemporary agency to discuss the taboos of post-colonialism and universal global themes,” says Dennis.
The exhibition is being hosted by the Arts Center at Duck Creek, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that develops and operates programs in the John Little Barn and on the grounds of Duck Creek Farm for the benefit of the East Hampton community.
Native American stories and legends have traditionally served a role in dealing with the unknown for Native people, specifically to illustrate the power of nature and create a reverence for it. As a Native American myself, recreating these stories with digital photography is my way of dealing with my own mysteries – where I come from and who my people are. The medium of photography, and my specific method of creating photorealistic, yet supernatural, images is to transform these stories from myths and legends on a page to depictions of actual experience in a photo. Using photography’s power to mirror reality, the stories subscribe to the modern standard of perceptual spiritual belief. The themes, aesthetics, morals, and stories of each image attempt to give Native American culture a contemporary agency to discuss the taboos of post-colonialism and universal global themes.