This artist book accompanies the exhibition at Luhring Augustine, Buck Ellison: Little Brother. The exhibition will be on view from March 17 to April 29, 2023.
Ellison’s practice produces a deep network of inquiry into how whiteness and privilege are sustained and broadcast. The six photographs and the film that comprise Little Brother were made between 2017 and 2022; in them, Ellison imagines Erik Prince, founder of the private security firm Blackwater, as he might have appeared on his Wyoming ranch in 2003, the year the firm received its first U.S. contracts to engage in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ellison carefully staged every piece in this project—hiring actors, sourcing props, researching filming locations—and combed through tax filings, transcripts of congressional hearings, military contracting price lists, as well as Prince’s autobiography in order to create this meticulous portrait. For the presentation at Luhring Augustine, Ellison also produced the new, hand-silkscreened wallpaper. The design is an expansion of his exploration into the world of his subject; inspired by Prince’s often-cited assertion that his plan for Afghanistan was modeled after the British East India Company, the motifs in Ellison’s wallpaper examine that company’s introduction of opium into China in the 1830s.
Published by Buck Ellison in 2022.