Dana Claxton, one of Canada's most influential aboriginal media artists, investigates the impact of colonialism and imperialism on Indigenous cultures past and present as well as the commodification and appropriation of aboriginal culture.
Drawing upon notions of spirituality, mobility, history and power, this new photo based and video installation mixes the traditional with the contemporary, suggesting that tradition is contemporary and that the contemporary is traditional. Through the blurring of definitions, ancient philosophies and cutting edge representations of the aboriginal body and image, Claxton attempts to pay homage to Black Elk and the Horse Dance. "They are dancing. They are coming to behold you. The horse nation of the west is dancing. They are coming to behold."
Claxton's work is held in numerous public collections, including the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Art Bank of Canada. Her work has been screened and exhibited at international venues such as the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Walker Art Centre (Minneapolis), the Sundance Festival (Utah), Microwave (Hong Kong), Rencontres Internationale (Paris/Berlin), Caixiforum Fundacio la Caixa (Barcelona), Biennale d'Art Contemporain du Havre (France), WRO 03 Media Arts Biennale (Poland) and the Guangdong Museum of Art (China).
This project was commissioned by the Alternator Gallery for Contemporary Art with assistance from Arts Partners in Creative Development and the Audain Foundation.