Dana Claxton: New exhibition and symposium looks at aesthetics though Nakota, Dakota, and Lakota lens

Dana Claxton: New exhibition and symposium looks at aesthetics though Nakota, Dakota, and Lakota lens

September 28, 2017

REGINA, SK — This fall, the MacKenzie brings another first to the people of Saskatchewan. Dana Claxton: The Sioux Project — Tatanka Oyate (2017) is the first art exhibition to explore contemporary Sioux aesthetics in the province. In this new work, Hunkpapa Lakota artist Dana Claxton claims the term Sioux for Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota peoples, carefully reflecting on contemporary Sioux relationships to the land. The resulting installation at the MacKenzie projects interconnected stories onto four circular canvas screens in the gallery space. Visitors are invited into the circle to consider the many dialogues presented from hours of digital video footage and still photographs collected from a series of workshops both Claxton and Cowboy Smithx held with Sioux youth from Standing Bu alo and White Cap First Nations.

“I cannot underestimate the significance of premiering Claxton’s new work at the Mackenzie Art Gallery,” says Exhibition Curator Carmen Robertson. “By including >Dana Claxton: The Sioux Project — Tatanka Oyate exhibition and symposium in its Fall offerings, the MacKenzie Art Gallery invites us all to share in a celebration of the art and ideas of Lakota, Dakota, and Natoka peoples of the Plains region.”

Stitched together from interviews with artists, cultural practitioners, and elders, The Sioux Project — Tatanka Oyate examines our popular culture’s romantic notions of landscape through the assembly of diverse images and experiences. The resulting installation others visual stories and images that consider beauty in relation to Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota intergenerational knowledge, and the dispersal of Sioux peoples throughout Saskatchewan.

“It’s especially exciting to present to Saskatchewan audiences, for the very first time, a brand new body of work that is contemporary and innovative — and also based on careful research into traditional knowledge from local communities in Saskatchewan and the Plains,” says Anthony Kiendl, the MacKenzie Art Gallery’s Executive Director and CEO. “The MacKenzie is uniquely positioned to bring together these ideas in a forum that is ideally suited for contemplation, reception, and discussion.”

Coinciding with the opening weekend of this exhibition, the MacKenzie is presenting a free, day-long symposium on Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota culture including panel discussions, screenings, performance, a keynote by Dr. Janet Berlo (University of Rochester), and other guests on Saturday, September 30.

On Sunday, October 1, between 2:00 and 4:00 PM, the MacKenzie presents a special Family Studio Sunday featuring a free parfleche workshop with Buffalo People Arts Institute.