On Saturday, October 27, the Vancouver Art Gallery is proudly opening a new exhibition to the public from the dynamic Vancouver-based artist, Dana Claxton.
The exhibition, called Dana Claxton:Fringing the Cube, is a powerful and provocative depiction of Indigenous people through a variety of artistic mediums.
“As a prolific multidisciplinary artist, Dana Claxton has been an important voice for reclaiming narratives around Indigenous culture through striking critique of stereotypes and ideologies,” says Kathleen S. Bartels, Director of the Vancouver Art Gallery.
“From the Indigenous portraits captured to stunning effect in her ‘fireboxes’, to the dramatic video installations that retell the stories of her Hunkpapa Lakota (Sioux) people, Dana’s emotive works compel audiences to re-examine their understanding of Indigenous art.”
For over three decades, Claxton, who is originally from Moose Jaw, has worked to reclaim, “Indigenous power, beauty, identity, and spirituality.” Her work challenges many of the oppressive colonial narratives by critiquing stereotypical representations of Indigenous people in art, literature and pop culture.
The exhibit merges contemporary influences with traditional Lakota traditions, which Claxton uses to address the horrific legacy of colonialism. She utilizes photography, film, video, and performance to reclaim the narratives around Indigenous culture.
In her work “firebox with transmounted chromogenic transparency,” Claxton portrays a woman who fuses both contemporary style with traditional Lakota garments. While the woman is wearing high heels, she also wears a hide and headdress.
“I am in awe and grateful that the Vancouver Art Gallery and Grant Arnold have selected to curate this survey exhibition spanning twenty-eight years. I am elated to be sharing my video installations, photography and performance with a Vancouver audience. Combined the work speaks of a Lakota sensibility of time/place/space/spirit and the complexities of our shared socio-political-cultural realities,” says Dana Claxton.
The mixed media installation, Buffalo Bone China (1997), investigates the mass slaughter of buffalo across the Great Plains. The British made Fine Bone China out of the Buffalo’s bones, and Claxton honours the buffalo by reclaiming these objects.
Dana Claxton:Fringing the Cube opens on Saturday, October 27 and runs until February 3, 2019 at the Vancouver Art Gallery.