Video Tipi, 2013 –
RIVERSIDE PARK > AFTER DARK
Dana Claxton is an interdisciplinary artist of Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux ancestry currently based in Vancouver. Her work uses metaphor and symbology to examine frameworks for race and identity and addresses the destruction and commodification of First Nations culture. Dana Claxton’s practice in film, photography and new media brings together new technologies, archival images and sacred sites.
Video Tipi, first featured in the Your Kontinent: Richmond Int’l Film and Media Arts Festival, is a two channel projection inside a 24 foot in diameter teepee that shows footage of an ancient and sacred site, Writing on Stone, in Southwest Alberta as well as images of Sioux-Lakota bead work from the turn of the century and a shifting audio-scape of electronic music that gradually shifts into a drum song.
In the sweat lodge, the volcanic stones used for the sweat are called grandmothers and grandfathers; it is these grandmothers and grandfathers, the ancient ones who Claxton is calling on in this work. This sense of relating geological forms as our inter-relations, is an assertion of our interconnectedness with the earth, our lands, ancestors and cultures. Claxton’s work draws on these ancient sounds but informs this archival focus with contemporary expressions of Aboriginal people, Aboriginal composer and musician Russell Wallace has created the audio-scape for this work and Sissy Goodhouse sings The Encouragement song in the work.