Dana Claxton
Tatanka 1, 2019

Location P9

Presented by Winsor Art Projects (Booth S12)

How much does a buffalo weigh?

The North American bison/buffalo is an emblematic iconic figure that represents for some spirituality, trade, cultural production, fear and awe. Ranging in weight up to a tonne and standing six feet tall. The buffalo is synonymous with North America on an international platform and part of the frontier imaginary with images of the Wild West and cowboys and Indians. For Indigenous communities the buffalo provided complete sustenance utilizing the hide for housing, the meat for food, the skull for ceremony, the horns for utensils, the inner organs for containers and more. The buffalo for many indigenous Plains culture is considered, sacred, a relative and highly revered.

During the official extermination period in Canada and the United States the buffalo become an international trade commodity with buffalo robes, soap and fine bone china made by the bones. Once near extinction as a result of this grave policy, the buffalo are now protected with re-population programs and even farming buffalo are forms of industry and cultural renewal.

Dana Claxton is an artist and filmmaker.  She works in photography, video/single and multi-channel installations and performance art. Her work investigates the NDN body, the cultural, sociopolitical, and spiritual. Her work is held in private and public collections. Her family reserve is Wood Mountain Lakota First Nations.