Past RWWP Events 2009-2010

Dana Claxton is an interdisciplinary artist whose work includes film and video, installation, performance and photography. Her work is held in public collections, including the Vancouver Art Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Art Bank of Canada. Her work has been screened internationally, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Walker Art Centre (Minneapolis). Her work has been screened at Sundance Festival and Microwave in Hong Kong.

She has taught at the Indigenous Media Arts Group and Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design in Vancouver and she was the 2003 Global Television Chair at the University of Regina in the School of Journalism where she taught Television and Radio broadcasting from the perspective of critical thinking and experimentation with sound and images. Dana was awarded the prestigious VIVA Award from the Doris and Jack Shadbolt Foundation and in 2007 became an Eiteljorg Fellow sponsored by the Ford Foundation.

She is an active member in the arts community and has participated in panel discussions, juries, curatorial projects, advisory committees, mentoring youth and young artists. She is of Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux ancestry and her family reserve is Wood Mountain.

Read Dana Claxton's Final Report
We appreciate the valuable contribution Dana made during her term with us. Her activities while with the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies are listed below:

Performance and Dialogue Symposium:
“Unpacking the Indigenous Female Body”

April 23 & 24, 2010
Proudly Sponsored by:
The Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, Simon Fraser University
Ruth Wynn Woodward Chair
Office of the President
Office of the Vice President, Academic
Office of the Vice President, Research
Office of the Dean, Arts & Social Sciences
Office For Aboriginal Peoples
The grunt gallery
The Western Front
Thank you for making this event a success!


Printable program in pdf format

Day One
Friday April 23, 2010: Performance Event

7:00 pm
Doors open and Reception

7:30 pm

Mandy Ginson - Western Front Welcome

Catherine Murray - Welcome
Chair of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, SFU

Dana Claxton - Ruth Wynn Woodward Chair Welcome

8:00 pm
Skeena Reece - Performance
8:45 pm
Lori Blondeau - Performance with collaborator Clark Ferguson


Day Two
Saturday April 24, 2010: Symposium

SFU Harbour Centre Room 1600 – 515 Hastings Street, Vancouver



8:30am - 9:30am Coffee and Registration
9:30am - 10:00am

Gene Harry - Salish Welcome

Paul Budra - Dean’s Office, Faculty of Arts
and Social Sciences Welcome
Mary Lynn Stewart - GSWS Department Welcome
Dana Claxton - Welcome

10:00am - 11:00am Hulleah J. Tsinhnahjinnie - Keynote address
From the Red Dragon Fly's Diary: Portraits of Aboriginal Beauty
C. N. Gorman Museum, University of California, Davis
11:00am - 11:15am Break
11:15am - 12:30pm

Panel: The Photo

Dr. Carolyn Butler-Palmer
Photography and the Fashioning of Ellen Neel’s Indigenous Identity
Art History, University of Victoria

Sasha Kovacs
Gazing at “The Mohawk Princess”
Graduate Student, Centre for Study of Drama, University of Toronto

Jerold A. Blain
Indigenous Women in Burton Frasher’s Foto Postcard Collection
PhD Student, Department of Native American Studies
University of California, Davis

12:30pm - 1:30pm Lunch
1:30pm - 2:30p

Panel: The Screen

Bridget Keating
Pocahontas’ Persistence: The Framing of an Indigenous
Girl in News Media

Lecturer, Indigenous Studies and English, First Nations University of Canada

Beth Aileen Lameman
The Good, the Bad, and the Sultry: Indigenous Women in Video Games
School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University

Tasha Hubbard
From ‘Indian Princess’ to ‘Indigenous Chief’: The Transformation of Indigenous Women’s Leadership on the Screen
PhD Candidate, Department of English, University of Calgary

2:30pm - 3:45pm

Panel: The Stage

Carla Taunton
Pauline Johnson and Maggie Papakura: Indigenous Acts of Performative Resistance in Canada and Aotearoa New Zealand
PhD Candidate, Department of Art, Queen's University

Alessandra Capperdoni
“My Body Knowing”: Witnessing, Truth, and Jouissance
in Marie Clement’s Theatre

Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
Simon Fraser University

Michelle LaFlamme
Mourning the Body in Pain: Aboriginal Women’s Revisionist Re-enactments of Murder
Community and Social Justice Division, Justice Institute of BC

3:45pm - 4:00pm Break
4:00pm - 4:45pm

Panel: The Performance

Anny Morissette
Queens, Princesses, Miss and Majorettes: Construction of femininity among Quebec Native Women (20th-21st centuries)
Département d'anthropologie, Université de Montréal

Sophie McCall
Lori Blondeau and Margo Kane: Reinventing Cowboys and Indians
English Department, Simon Fraser University

4:45pm – 5:00pm Dana Claxton - Closing Remarks

Information about lodging and accommodations:
Ramada Inn & Suites, 1221 Granville Street, Vancouver Tel: 604-685-1111, Fax: 604-685-0707, Toll Free: 888-835-0078
Or for the budget-minded:
YWCA Hotel, 733 Beatty Street, Vancouver Tel 604-895-5830 Fax 604-681-2550
How to support this event
Your generous support contributes to a much-needed and much-desired macro-conversation concerning First Nations womanhood and representation.
Partnership opportunities exist in the following areas:

  • Contribute cash or kind
  • Venue Rental costs (for theatre and symposium spaces)
  • Travel and hotel costs (for keynote speaker, artists and visiting students)
  • Printing costs

The Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at Simon Fraser University is approaching all potential partners on behalf of Dana Claxton, Ruth Wynn Woodward Chair. Here is an opportunity to support this initiative.
Rationale for "Unpacking the Indigenous Female Body"
Call for Papers - now closed

Dana Claxton Events

(by date order)



GSWS Proudly Sponsors Arts of Conscience

Arts of Conscience is a one-day symposium on art and aesthetics that explores peace and ways of transforming the damaging forces of war, military occupation and the resulting generations of trauma. The symposium is organized in conjunction with the visit to Vancouver by Miyako Ishiuchi, internationally renowned Japanese contemporary photographer, to celebrate her exhibition which opens on October 13th at the Audain Gallery at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia.

Here is a chance to see Dana Claxton, part of GSWS's faculty/legacy, who will also be present (in the morning).

Click for downloadable program in pdf format (147 KB)

Click here to visit UBC's Museum of Anthropology's website.


Border Zones: Attempting to Reshape the Museum

Border Zones: Attempting to Reshape the Museum
UBC Museum of Anthropology
January 23 - September 12, 2010

On my walkabout through the inaugural exhibition at the newly renovated Museum of Anthropology, the first gallery I encountered, located off the Great Hall of totem poles, was a container of sorts housing aboriginal culture, cultural production, and cultural belongings of the seemingly other. For me, as a Lakota woman, museums that house “artifact”* are, at the best of times, difficult sites. Certainly with new museum practices there are earnest attempts at reshaping how “colonized” cultures have been represented and studied. Classic anthropological sites becoming sites of contemporary art is a grey zone, and a challenging proposition to accept.
The burning questions Border Zones: New Art across Cultures raises are about the entire field of anthropological museums meddling in contemporary art. Are former and continuing sites of anthropological engagement even places for contemporary art? Can the stigma of the anthro/entho gaze ever be shed in these sites?

Border Zones provides several points of physical entry. One can enter the contemporary art exhibition through the Great Hall of Northwest Coast totems, or through the open-concept study rooms (Multiversity Galleries) with aboriginal and other worldwide collections, which reach the main gallery through the display of Asian artifacts. Either way, the viewer is gaining entry through “artifact”—and perhaps this is where it becomes apparent that as a viewer, you are in a museum of “artifacts.”

The first work I encountered in Border Zones, “law poles” by Ron Yunkaporta, are both beautiful and confusing. If one does not read the didactic explaining what purpose these magnificent poles have, they could simply be viewed as “artifacts” from long ago. The gallery is dark with low ceilings and has a very traditional museum sensibility.

John Wynne’s audio and photo-based installation, Anspayaxw, could be mistaken for a National Geographic research project, but on a deeper reading it became apparent that this work is about what goes on outside of the museum space. The audio consists of tribal members of Kispiox speaking in their language about their lived experiences. The audio with the large photos of the speakers, the spaces in which they were recorded, and other images from the community are hung in sort of a circle. Again, the dark and low-ceilinged exhibition gallery contributes to an institutionalized view of the work.

The river of white boats in Gu Xiong’s Becoming Rivers leads viewers into the rest of the exhibition and into the new wing. It can be read in many different ways. The small, plastic boats/ships could be seen as the colonist’s ship leading you away from research-based work and into a new beginning. Do the white boats represent death in traditional Chinese colours? Are they bringing death, or are they already dead? They are, after all, plastic. Hundreds of the boats are located both inside the gallery space, hanging from the ceiling, and outside on the grounds. They are ephemeral and threatening at the same time.

The new gallery space of contemporary art is packed with works ranging from video installation, pottery, and sculpture to more video installation. The large four-channel video installation by Hayati Mokhtar and Dain Iskandar Said, Near Intervisible Lines, dominates the far wall, yet allows the other works to exist, perhaps because of the soft, pastel hues of the Malaysian coast it represents. With a horizon line in the distance and aqua blue sky, it’s almost like a beachfront property, and one can gaze and gaze into the distance—so much so, it may be a distraction from other works in the space.

Sri Lankan artist T. Shanaathanan’s collaborative work with the local Sri Lankan community, Imag(in)ing ‘Home’, is reminiscent of old-school museum practices of collecting everything from a culture and then displaying the objects behind plastic or glass. These objects are from the everyday and ready made, carrying great depth of meaning in relation to Sri Lankan aesthetics, kitsch, iconography, and experiences as newcomers to Canada. This work, too, was about what goes on culturally outside of the museum.

The work I was most challenged by, in a good way, was Cell, by Edward Poitras. The work considers confinement, justice, brutality, and social autonomy, as well as social responsibility. To know that thousands of aboriginal people are imprisoned in institutions and by a state that wants to make tougher jail penalties for offenders rings true in the small, white cube Edward constructed. Poverty and the structural dehumanization of aboriginal people have fueled the jail industry in this country. In some ways this is the new residential school for those who went from residential school to jail to a healing centre, then back again to jail, and for their children on the same journey, and their grandchildren in juvenile hall, moving to jail, to treatment, to jail, to hopefully figuring it out. There are many intellectual entry points into this work, and the starting point for Edward Poitras was the reality that Leonard Peltier remains in jail. He is in the cell: the controlled and monitored space. The institutionalization of the containment of indigenous bodies, and being numbered as a human being, are larger issues that Edward’s work ponders.

A final work, Abishekam, is a video documentation of a ritual in which a Hindu priest dresses a deity figure. I had to stop watching halfway into the video, as I was not prepared for ritual and felt awkward witnessing something of this magnitude that I didn’t agree to. This action was a museum “first” and really quite a radical move to have a non-museum professional without white gloves touch and even pour milk and other liquids on the statue. But as a ritualist myself, there is a time and place for ceremony, and I’m not sure a museum is an ideal site of sanctity in which to view an ancient ritual on a video monitor. Beside the video, there is a live feed on a monitor of the actual deity in the “artifact” section of the museum. A lovely deity that deserves to be dressed and honored—and perhaps released and placed back into its original home so the people can engage with her manna.

Does Border Zones present post-modern anthropology? Or does it collapse contemporary cultural production with old, classic museum standbys? Are audiences informed enough to critically view both historical and contemporary cultural production and distinguish indigenous cultural production that belongs in the 21st century—such as the law poles—from older works? I am not convinced that old sites of “artifact” can successfully facilitate new ways of thinking about “other,” or that “other” can be presented as both contemporary and ancient within realms of old-school museum structures. What a challenge MOA has for years to come, as it reinterprets how we view cultures and, further, through what critical and cultural lens.

My experience as a contemporary indigenous artist viewing the works was disjointed. Walking through the totems, into contemporary art, then back through artifact didn’t translate into two different modes of production. The lines were blurred, but the in-betweeness was iron clad—a fascinating and dynamic place to be, however complex. For some time now, MOA has been attempting to create a simultaneous space for artifact and contemporary art. Border Zones, however, takes viewers somewhere new and further complicates the study of culture, art, and people.

* My use of the word artifact is for lack of a better word, but to also situate the reality of mixing older cultural production with contemporary work. Many of these items/objects/ entities have great spiritual meaning, and the word artifact does not do them justice: they are cultural belongings with significant histories, purposes, and meanings.

McMaster Museum of Art, McMaster University
FIERCE: Women's Hot-Blooded Film/Video

McMaster Museum of Art, McMaster University

FIERCE: Women's Hot-Blooded Film/Video
Maureen Bradley
Dana Claxton
Allyson Mitchell
b. h. Yael
Curated by Janice Hladki
McMaster Museum of Art, McMaster University
January 28 - March 27, 2010

McMaster Museum of Art press release

Art is Not Always Pretty Pictures

College Art Association

College Art Association
See College Art Association Program for this event (pdf format)
98th Annual Conference
Chicago, IL
February 10-13, 2010

The Age of Enlargement
Saturday, February 13, 9:30 AM–12:00 PM
Regency C, Gold Level, West Tower, Hyatt Regency Chicago
Chair: Leah Modigliani, Stony Brook University, State University of New York
From “Mr. Big of SoHo” to “The Man Who Bought Marfa”: Donald Judd and the Lateral Amplification of Sculpture
Wouter Davidts, VU University Amsterdam
Trash as Livelihood: The Chiffonnier(e) in Nineteenth-Century Paris
Amy Brandt, Graduate Center, City University of New York The
Politics of Hope: Contemporary American Indian Art
Dana Claxton, Simon Fraser University

Cultural Olympiad 2010 and Saskatchewan Pavilion Artists

February 12-28, 2010
Saskatchewan joins Vancouver 2010 team as a contributing province. The 2010 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXI Olympic Winter Games or the 21st Winter Olympics, will be held on February 12–28, 2010, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with some events held in the resort town of Whistler and in Richmond, a Vancouver suburb. Both the Olympic and Paralympic Games are being organized by the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC). The 2010 Winter Olympics will be the third Olympics hosted by Canada, and the first by the province of British Columbia. Previously, Canada was home to the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec and the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta.
Read the Government of Saskatchewan as a contributing province Press Release here
CARFAC Saskatchewan Newsletter on page 16
More Saskatchewan artists to be showcases at Cultural Olympiad 2010
The Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) have added two more Saskatchewan artists to the lineup of talent taking part in Cultural Olympiad 2010. Dana Claxton, an interdisciplinary artist
whose work includes film and video, installation, performance and photography, as well as Brett Bell, an award-winning filmmaker, have both had work selected for inclusion. For more information, go to

Windsor Gallery
Dana Claxton is part of a generation of First Nations artists who employ strategies of contemporary art to address the impact of history on the present. Since the early 1990s, Claxton (born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan), of Lakota (Sioux) descent, has investigated the historical, and continuing, impact of colonialism on Aboriginal cultures in North America. In her work the artist seeks to deconstruct the ways in which images, philosophies and iconographies of First Nations are formed and commodified, both historically and in contemporary mainstream society.

Dana Claxton’s work has been shown at the National Gallery of Canada, Vancouver Art Gallery, Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Centre, Eiteljorg Museum, Sundance Film Festival and the Microwave International New Media Festival in Hong Kong, and has presented papers at the Getty Institute, Mid-American Art College Association and the Art College Association (US). Her work has been collected by the National Gallery of Canada, Art Bank of Canada, Vancouver Art Gallery, and Winnipeg Gallery, and has been selected for the 17th Biennale of Sydney 2010. She has taught at the Indigenous Media Arts Group and Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design in Vancouver, and the 2003 Global Television Chair at the University of Regina in the School of Journalism, where she taught Television and Radio broadcasting. Dana was awarded the prestigious VIVA Award from the Doris and Jack Shadbolt Foundation, and in 2007 became an Eiteljorg Fellow sponsored by the Ford Foundation. Dana Claxton is the Ruth Wynn Woodward Endowed Chair in Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University.


a disco ceremony for Michael Jackson
A new work by Dana Claxton
Curated by Jackson 2bears
Saturday March 13, 2010 9pm
Open Space 510 Fort St. – 2nd Floor. Victoria BC
Click here for pdf printable poster

Beautiful Dreamers: new avant-garde feminist art cabaret

March 25, 2010
Vancity Theatre

Beautiful Dreamers is a film and live performance cabaret of new feminist avant-garde art. From surrealism to science fiction, from macabre to the erotic, this event showcases women who conjure the unexpected, the beautiful and the somewhat odd.

These short films and cabaret performances deeply probe and play with non-(Western)traditional, non-formulaic narratives from Vancouver and Canada's most edgy, ingenious women artists. You won't see "talking head" documentaries or classic love stories here. Expect mythology and magic, femme monsters and unlikely heroines, burlesque and a dash of the perverse, and, of course, expect feminist voices heard in new and unexpected ways.

Curated and hosted by Amber Dawn, Director of Programming for the Vancouver Queer Film Festival.
Asa Mori, Dana Claxton, Penny Lane, Amber Dawn, Kathryn Jean, Thirza Cuthand, Julie Atlas Muz, Shawna Dempsey, Lorri Millan, Divya Mehra, Freya Bjorg Freya, Leslie Loksi Chan, and more...

Live Performers:
VaVa Vunderbust, Little Woo, Luisa Jojic, April O'Peel, Jonie Gyoza, Morgan Brayton, Edward Malappropriate, Namchi Bazar, and more...

DJ/soundscape artist: Iffer

Tickets $15

*Vancity is a wheelchair accessible venue with one wheelchair accessible, gender-neutral washroom and several chair-accessible seating spaces inside the theatre. Volunteers are available to assist with seating arrangements.

Primary Exhibition The Mechanical Bride

John Armstrong, Dana Claxton, Paul Collins, Kota Ezawa, Jaqueline Hassink, David Lachapelle, Ryan McGinley, Josephine Meckseper, Matt Siber, Alec Soth, Britta Thie
P1 | Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art
May 1–June 6, 2010
Opening April 30, 7:00–10:00 pm
952 Queen St W
Toronto, M6J 1G8 416 395 0067
Wheelchair Accessible
The renowned Canadian theorist Marshall McLuhan applied techniques of art criticism to access the affect of mass media upon the public in his groundbreaking book published in 1951, The Mechanical Bride. His practice of analyzing and commenting upon the persuasive strategies applied in the media of his times remains relevant today within a global village consumed by widespread media saturation.
Mirroring a world devoted to the image, photo-based works by Canadian and international artists reveal vital connections between mass media, advertising, painting and photography. Reflecting the enduring influence of Marshall McLuhan, The Mechanical Brideexhibition explores the social and cultural affect of images and their emotional and political implications.
Presented in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.

17th Biennale of Sydney

May 12-August 1, 2010
Dana Claxton has been invited to present her art at the 17th Biennale of Sydney
Sydney, Australia
Click for Downloadable Program (in pdf format)
Click for Downloadable Poster of her Artist's Talk


Dana Claxton The Barbarian

Curated by Paul Wong
Sept.10 - Oct. 3, 2009
Artist Talk Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 at 2 pm
Opening Thursday, Sept. 10 , 6 - 10 pm
On Main 1965 Main Street Vancouver , BC, Canada
Gallery Open Saturdays 12 - 5 pm
or by appointment t- 604 872 7713

On Main is proud to present The Barbarian, a new exhibition by Dana Claxton. The Barbarian is a life-size photo-tryptch inspired by a narwhal tusk loaned to the artist. She received it shortly after the whale had given its life to the community. “This huge tusk still felt warm as I unwrapped it. It had an enormous power/energy/spirit that was still attached to it.”

The Barbarians took shape from researching the narwhal and the tusk. From Inuit mythology to the Vikings going to Greenland there are many stories about the majestic tusk including its deception as the Unicorn tusk. The outcome is a creation of a work that collapses contemporary barbarians in search of natural man and natural law. In the tryptch the barbarian gets stripped of his armory he becomes at one with the narwhal tusk, thus he becomes one with the natural world and in essence he becomes Indian. The Barbarians is available in two limited print editions. 4 x 8 edition of 2 with one artist proof. 17” X 20” edition of 3.

Dana Claxton is an interdisciplinary artist creating works in film, video, photography, installation and performance. She is also active as a curator, television producer & director and educator. Ms. Claxton has been garnering important national and international recognition and is currently putting together a project for the 17th Biennale of Sydney 2010 and a commission for the University of Lethbridge Gallery. Awards include the Eiteljorg Fellowship (Indianapolis), VIVA (Vancouver).

Recent exhibitions include the Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Centre, Sundance Film Festival. Biennale de Montréal. Her work has been attracting the interest of both private and major public art collections such as the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Caixiforum Fundacio la Caixa, Barcelona, National Gallery of Canada, Canada Council Art Bank, Vancouver & Winnipeg Art Gallery's and university collections throughout Canada and the U.S.A. She is well respected for her outspoken and leading views on contemporary aboriginal art and life. Starting this semester she is the Ruth Wynn Woodward Endowed Chair in Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. She has presented papers at the Getty Institute (LA), Mid- American Art College Association conference and the Art Institute of Chicago. Born in Saskatchewan, Vancouver is home.
Click here for a printable poster


Click for a program (pdf format)
of the 10th Anniversary
sponsored by CTVglobemedia
Below are highlights for Dana Claxton
Thursday 5pm | OCT. 15, 2009
Al Green Theatre

Her Sugar Is?
Director: Dana Claxton
Canada · 2.5 min · 2009 · Beta SP
World Premiere
A playful burlesque performance peels away layers of history to reveal a persuasive and thought-provoking dance that informs as much as it delights.

Friday 3pm | OCT. 16, 2009
A DECADE In Retrospect: Curated by Dana Claxton
Al Green Theatre
A Decade In Retrospect: 10 Years of Dramatic
Programming at imagineNATIVE
Curated and narrated by Dana Claxton
A Note from the Curator
Honey Blood Runner and Skins Bear Prayer with Cherry Bones Winter and Skyway Wind America This program looks at 12 films that have been screened at the festival in celebration of imagineNATIVE’s 10th anniversary. These dramatic works are part of the burgeoning field of dramatic Aboriginal screen culture and they are exciting, unpredictable and thoughtful. Storylines are varied: Indians playing Whites, Pine Ridge disasters, bad medicine and hope, young girls and prayer, drugs and visions, giants and little people, spirits in the bush, dead guitar heroes, Cufe and burial proper, and unpacking the residential/boarding school tragedy. These works represent what is going on in Aboriginal thought and creative applications of that thought. Together the works span a decade of Indigenous production and during this time there have been several other dramatic projects made, far too many to include in this program. As you will see in this program, Aboriginal cultural producers are fully engaged with dramatic narratives and bringing Indigenous life to the screen. These stories interpret contemporary life as well as the complex and difficult history that makes up North America.

Saturday | OCT. 17, 2009
Miles Nadal JCC, 3rd Floor
In Conversation: The Evolution of Indigenous Filmmaking
A master-class of masters! Join leading filmmakers and academics for a conversation on the creative process of filmmaking from an Indigenous perspective. How have filmmaking styles changed throughout their careers? Is there an Indigenous narrative? Does each Indigenous community have a style of their own? How has Indigenous filmmaking evolved? What kind and what way have stories been told and are yet to be told? A not-to-be missed panel on the future of Native cinema.
Moderator: Dana Claxton

Dana Claxton is an interdisciplinary artist-curator working with film and video, installation, performance and photography. She has taught with the Indigenous Media Arts Group (Vancouver) and Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design (Vancouver). Her work is held in public collections, including the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Art Bank of Canada and Caixiforum Fundacio
la Caixa, (Barcelona) and has been screened extensivley internationally.

To Mark On Surface - a three channel installation

University of Lethbridge Art Gallery

Tuesday November 3rd - Friday Nov 6th, 2009
Exhibition opening of new commissioned work

Click here for permanent link to University of Lethbridge Art Gallery Website

To Mark on Surface

Dana Claxton

3 Channel Video Installation
Reception: November 6, 2009 from 4-6 PM
Main Gallery

How we render ourselves to exist and to leave a marking of who we are is an ancient practice in many cultures. This new work records the ancient site of Writing on Stone and brings those renderings into the gallery space. I have placed these drawings side by side with the drawings by Nicolas de Grandmaison. I have attempted to show two ways of rendering and marking on surface. One is in stone and nature, the other on paper. One is considered tribal and the other is considered western. Although, I don’t look at either being different from each other, to me they are both makings and renderings.

The tribal work was made by Plains people or perhaps Star People and ancient people. The western work recorded people from ancient cultures of the Plains area. I worked with both de Grandmaison’s finished and unfinished work as so many of his lines are like the lines of the ancient works from Writing on Stone. I have shown both his finished and unfinished works, as well as details of his line and form, and edited this into the lines and forms of Writing on Stone. I have attempted to meld and collapse two seemingly different approaches to rendering existence and essentially tried to make them as one. Regardless of race, gender, sexuality, class, religion, cultural practice or anything else that creates divisions – this new work combines video art and the Lakota worldview that everything is related “mitakuye oyasin” – all my relations, everything is related.

The form and lines that have been placed upon the stone are magnificent. The lines move and dance even. The work is alive. And similar to de Grandmaison’s pastels, his lines and form are alive and passionate.

Category: Exhibitions

Tagged: dana claxton, josephine mills, main gallery, nicholas de grandmaison, to mark on surface

Click here to visit Dana Claxton's website.