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300-Miles to Wounded Knee: The Oomaka Tokatakiya, Future Generations Ride

Ken Marchionno

Ken Marchionno has been pursuing photography since the age of 15 and after working with video, installation, interactive design, digital works and performance, documentary photography is Marchionno's preferred medium and methodology. Marrying his artwork with his passionate social practice, he records the fragility and complexity of life in a quick-moving contemporary world, and through his photography gives voice to moments, people and places that might have otherwise been overlooked. Marchionno is also known for his large-scale panoramic landscapes comprising dozens of separate frames shot using a telephoto lens.

300 Miles to Wounded Knee: the Oomaka Tokatakiya Future Generations Ride is a community-engaged photography project that documents the three hundred-mile memorial horseback ride to the site of the Wounded Knee massacre. Often braving the piercing South Dakota Winter, the journey to Wounded Knee is meant to be an homage to the Lakota people who lost their lives one hundred and thirty years ago, but riders also regard it as a spiritual, cultural and intellectual experience. Machionno’s portrayal of the event strays from the typical exploitative depiction of stoic, poverty-stricken Native Americans and reservation life and offers an empowering representation of their journey. His documentation offers a contemporary lens that highlights the autonomy and self-empowerment of the Lakota people.

Ken Marchionno is an artist, writer and curator living in the Los Angeles area and is currently a Professor in Photography and Imaging at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. His work has been presented in Dr. Betty Ann Brown’s Art and Mass Media and Robert Hirsch’s Exploring Color Photography. He has been a stringer for the Associated Press and his photography has been featured in a number of magazines and newspapers including the contemporary art quarterly, X-TRA. His creative writing has been included in the literary journals Errant Bodies and Framework. His ongoing project, 300 Miles to Wounded Knee: the Oomaka Tokatakiya Future Generations Ride has been exhibited in The Smithsonian Institution; the U.S. Embassy in Prague; and Yuchun Museum, Suzhou, China.

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