INFO SPTO Feature5

The Sioux Project—Tatanka Oyate

Dana Claxton
Timothy Long
180+ full colour
225 x 280mm
Winter 2020

The Sioux Project—Tatanka Oyate fills a major gap in our understanding of contemporary Sioux aesthetics in North America with a specific focus on the knowledge and practices of Lakota/Nakota/Dakota (Sioux) communities in Saskatchewan, Canada. The publication reflects over three years of on-the-ground research involving a team led by Lakota video/performance artist Dana Claxton, art historian Lynne Bell, artist Gwenda Yuzicappi, and filmmaker Cowboy Smithx. The video footage gathered over the course of multiple visits to Sioux communities across Saskatchewan formed the basis of Claxton's four-channel video installation at the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan in 2017.

Essays by Bell, Smithx, and MacKenzie Head Curator Timothy Long, as well excerpts from video interviews with community participants, speak to the community-based methodology of this research-creation project and the significance of Claxton’s installation. Densely illustrated with stills and in-situ shots of the installation, the texts offer a moving community portrait of how the traditional knowledge of elders is being actively transmitted to and translated by a generation that is as comfortable with video mashups as they are with star quilts and beadwork. Produced for academic, artistic and broader communities, the publication includes a consideration of how Sioux aesthetics have been defined by communities and artists in North America, both historically and in the contemporary period, in essays by leading Indigenous scholars, Janet Catherine Berlo, Bea Medicine and Carmen Robertson. The historical background for the presence of Tatanka Oyate, the "Buffalo Nation," in western Canada is provided in a chronology by historian David R. Miller.

  1. Dana Claxton

    is a critically acclaimed artist who works in film, video, photography, single and multi-channel video installation, and performance art. Her practice investigates beauty, the body, the socio-political, and the spiritual. Her work has been shown internationally at the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Sundance Film Festival, Eiteljorg Museum (Indianapolis), and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney, Australia) and is held in public collections including the Vancouver Art Gallery, National Gallery of Canada, Canada Council Art Bank, MacKenzie Art Gallery, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Fringing the Cube, her solo survey exhibition, was held at the Vancouver Art Gallery in the fall of 2018. She has received numerous awards including the Governor General's Award in Visual Arts, the VIVA Award and the Eiteljorg Fellowship. She is Head and Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Art, Art History and Theory at the University of British Columbia. Her family reserve is Wood Mountain Lakota First Nation located in beautiful southwest Saskatchewan.

  2. Timothy Long

    has thirty years of curatorial experience at the MacKenzie Art Gallery where he is Head Curator and Adjunct Professor at the University of Regina. His past projects have traced developments in Saskatchewan art from the 1960s to present, including Regina Clay: Worlds in the Making and retrospectives of Marilyn Levine, Jack Sures, David Thauberger, and Victor Cicansky. His pursuit of interdisciplinary dialogues involving art, sound, ceramics, film, and contemporary dance has resulted in a number of innovative projects, including Theatroclasm (2009), Ian Wallace: Masculin/Féminin (2010), and Atom Egoyan: Steenbeckett (2016). In 2018 he co-curated Re: Celebrating the Body, the latest in a series of exhibition/residencies with the acclaimed contemporary dance company New Dance Horizons.

Co-published with the MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina Saskatchewan.

  1. The Sioux Project – Tatanka Oyate
    $55 $44

    With essays and process images on toothy uncoated grey paper and film stills reproduced on high white art matte paper, The Sioux Project brings together the legacy of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota peoples with contemporary expression and culture.

    More Info
    1. INFO SPTO Feature5
    2. INFO SPTO Feature4
    3. INFO SPTO Feature3
    4. INFO SPTO Feature2
    5. INFO SPTO Feature1