Social action art in book form, Perception: A Photo Series encourages readers to look and then look again.
Tired of reading negative and disparaging remarks directed at Indigenous people of Winnipeg in the press and social media, artist KC Adams created a photo series that presented another perspective. Called “Perception Photo Series,” it confronted common stereotypes of First Nation, Inuit and Métis people to illustrate a more contemporary truthful story. First appearing on billboards, in storefronts, in bus shelters, and projected onto Winnipeg’s downtown buildings, Adam’s stunning photographs now appear in the book, Perception: A Photo Series. Meant to challenge the culture of apathy and willful ignorance about Indigenous issues, Adams hopes to unite readers in the fight against prejudice of all kinds.
Perception is one title in The Debwe Series.
Indeed, the potential lasting impact of this collection can’t be underestimated; this is socially engaged art at its best.
KC Adams’s Perception series challenges us to bridge thought and reality; emerging on the other side better having challenged ourselves to see Indigenous peoples for what they really are. We are grandparents, parents, children – and everything in between. As Adams shows through this incredible exhibition of faces and feelings, we are beautiful, whole, and complex peoples irreducible to stereotypes and slander.
—Romeo Saganash (Cree, father, activist, and dreamer)
KC Adams’s Perception series absolutely captured the most devastating perceptions from the colonial mind, and the accompanying lack of knowledge about the truth of Canada’s historical relationship to Indigenous Peoples. Succinctly and beautifully, KC transformed that narrative in this series. It is a prolific piece which will always be a source of inspiration for truth and reconciliation. It is unforgettable. Kichi miigwetch KC Adams!
—Tina Keeper, Actor/Producer
Perception is an impressive collection of an equally impressive photo series by a widely respected Indigenous artist. Perception reached meme status at an early moment of Indigenous internet activism, fueled by movements like Idle No More and an explosion of Indigenous digital space that allowed for expansive connection and community-led transformation. Essays from Katherena Vermette and Cathy Mattes, who hail from Adams’ community of Winnipeg, make for a deeply personal text. The photographs themselves act as a visual history of Adams’ community and the people who would become her community by participating in her intimate process, a process that is extensively detailed in the collection. Perception is an inside look into a living legend’s photography practice (I say this in no uncertain terms) and, more importantly, as Adams intended, a reminder to look past the hurt in search of a love that can bring us all home.
— Lindsay Nixon, Editor-at-Large Canadian Art, author nîtisânak (Metonymy Press)