A frontier, unlike a border, represents a zone of relations where it is possible for all those involved to be affected and changed by the encounters. WILD: Fabricating a Frontier examines and complicates frontier narratives by producing and performing alternative vocalizations of what it means to live in contested zones. This project particularly examines this concern within settler colonial contexts—geographic, political, post-colonial, psychic, interspecies—and looks for ways to retain their narrative complexity. Exploring the affectations of settler colonial romanticism and its persistence in performances of the “Wild West”, this project troubles settler hegemonies and offers alternative practices of wildness.
In a moment in which issues of belonging, settlement and migration dominate global political discourse, within the largest mass movement of refugees to have taken place since the Second World War, WILD addresses the long-lasting nature of the debate, and the necessity for an urgent reshaping of the narrative of who is welcome and who is not, the historical effects of displacement on immigrants and the requirement for a national discourse on care and empathy as a part of national identity.
Image credit: Julian Rosefeldt, American Night, 2009 ©️ The artist and VG Bild-Kunst, 2017
Adrian Stimson is a member of the Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation. He has a BFA with distinction from the Alberta College of Art and Design and MFA from the University of Saskatchewan. He considers himself as an interdisciplinary artist; he exhibits nationally and internationally.
His paintings are primarily monochromatic, they primarily depict bison in imagined landscapes, they are melancholic, memorializing, and sometimes whimsical, they evoke ideas cultural fragility, resilience and nostalgia. The British Museum recently acquired two paintings for their North American Indigenous collection.
His performance art looks at identity construction, specifically the hybridization of the Indian, the cowboy, the shaman and Two Spirit being. Buffalo Boy, The Shaman Exterminator are two reoccurring personas. He is also known for putting his body under stress, in White Shame Re-worked, he pierced his chest 7 times, recreating a performance originally done by Ahasiw-Muskegon Iskew, crawled across the desert in 110 degree heat for What about the Red Man? For Burning Man’s The Green Man and recently dug a TRENCH in a five-day durational performance sunrise to sunset.
His installation work primarily examines the residential school experience; he attended three residential schools in his life. He has used the material culture from Old Sun Residential School on his Nation to create works that speak to genocide, loss and resilience.
His photography includes collodion wet plate portraits, performance dioramas and war depictions.
His sculpture work has been primarily collaborative; he has worked with relatives of Murdered and Missing Women to create Bison Sentinels and with the Whitecap Dakota Nation in creating Sprit of Alliance a monument to the War of 1812.
He was a participant in the Canadian Forces Artist Program, which sent him to Afghanistan.
He was awarded the Blackfoot Visual Arts Award in 2009, the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003, the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 and the REVEAL Indigenous Arts Award –Hnatyshyn Foundation
Postcommodity is an interdisciplinary arts collective comprised of Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez, and Kade L. Twist. Postcommodity’s art functions as a shared Indigenous lens and voice to engage the assaultive manifestations of the global market and its supporting institutions, public perceptions, beliefs, and individual actions that comprise the ever-expanding, multinational, multiracial and multiethnic colonizing force that is defining the 21st Century through ever increasing velocities and complex forms of violence. Postcommodity works to forge new metaphors capable of rationalizing our shared experiences within this increasingly challenging contemporary environment; promote a constructive discourse that challenges the social, political and economic processes that are destabilizing communities and geographies; and connect Indigenous narratives of cultural self-determination with the broader public sphere.
Deanna Bowen (b. 1969, Oakland; lives in Toronto) is a descendant of the Alabama and Kentucky born Black Prairie pioneers of Amber Valley and Campsie, Alberta. Bowen’s family history has been the central pivot of her auto-ethnographic interdisciplinary works since the early 1990s. Her broader artistic/educational practice examines history, historical writing and the ways in which artistic and technological advancements impact individual and collective authorship. She has received several awards in support of her artistic practice including a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship and the 2014 William H. Johnson Prize. Her work has been exhibited internationally in numerous film festivals and museums, including the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, the Images Festival, Flux Projects, the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival, the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, and the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Halifax.