Outcasts & Innocents / Alice Wheeler
Outcasts and Innocents: Photographs of the Northwest brings together three decades of photographs made in and about a region complicated to define through anything other than its elemental landscape.
Occupied by its indigenous peoples as well as waves of pioneers, the Northwest has long fostered a sense of opportunity and isolation, and Alice Wheeler’s subjects‚ whether girl bands or anarchists, teen punks or princesses‚ embody both. Internationally known for photographs of Nirvana, Bikini Kill, and the punk-feminist bands of Riot Grrl, Wheeler has always been drawn to people who possess their own definitions of strength and beauty.
Hers are the lesser-seen realities of Seattle’s recent history: not the scrubbed-up coffeehouse earnestness represented in films and sitcoms, but the glory of the drag scene; the devastation of AIDS; the freedom of choice celebrated at Hempfest, gay pride parades, and protest rallies; and yes, a music scene that continues to captivate music lovers internationally.
With a unique vision that reflects her empathy, curiosity and alternative viewpoint, often blurred (literally) by the low light and ever-present rain, Wheeler witnesses the emergence of contemporary Northwest culture.