Jordan Reznick is Getty/NEH Postdoctoral Fellow at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Reznick's research on settler colonialism in photography describes how Indigenous knowledges and colonial myths shape the medium of photography.
Reznick’s manuscript “Settler Modernism: Alfred Stieglitz’s The Steerage and American Whiteness After the Frontier” is a reinterpretation of The Steerage (1907)—the photograph of European immigrants thought to singularly inaugurate modernism in American photography. Reznick shows how the refashioning of national myths that normalized whites’ ongoing occupation of North America during the first decades of the twentieth century transformed Stieglitz's once-discarded photograph into a legendary cornerstone of modernist photography.
Their current research project takes an ecological approach to photographic histories of settler colonialism by reevaluating early landscape photographs of the American West from the standpoint of local Indigenous ecological science. Reznick considers how Indigenous peoples shaped the evolutionary course of landscapes that appeared “empty” to the Western eye. Looking at the choices photographers made as they adapted their processes to Indigenous land—both aesthetically and technologically—Reznick’s study describes how the medium became enduringly marked by Indigenous worldviews.
Other research projects include explorations of the ways in which transgender and trans disabled photographers challenge the very nature of the photographic medium, looking at works by Claude Cahun, Marcel Moore, and Leslie Feinberg.
Their artwork has been exhibited at Aperture Gallery and Handwerker Gallery in New York, Portland Art Museum in Oregon, and Romer Young Gallery, Minnesota Street Project, and SOMArts in San Francisco. Reznick's work is featured in New Queer Photography (Verlag Kettler, 2020) by Benjamin Wolbergs. Reznick was awarded a San Francisco Arts Commission Grant as well as artist residencies at Djerassi Resident Artists Program and Dickerman Prints.
Through the Guillotine Mirror: Claude Cahun’s Photographic Theory of Trans against the Void, Art Journal (Fall 2022, forthcoming)
Dismembered Muses and Mirrors that Bite: A Trans Perspective on Gender Variance in Surrealist Visual Arts, The Routledge Companion to Surrealism, edited by Kirsten Strom, London: Routledge. (forthcoming)
Landing the Sky: Decolonization and the View from Turtle Island, American Art (Summer 2023, forthcoming)