Queer Frontiers: Adrian Stimson
LOMAA is excited to (re-)debut the Queer Frontiers series with a screening and talk with Siksika Nation-based artist Adrian Stimson! Originally slated to premiere in Spring 2020, we are happy to shift exhibition online and host a week-long public screening of works from Stimson’s “Buffalo Boy” series in conjunction with a virtual artist talk and Q&A. This event is presented in partnership with Museum London.
Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 3 p.m. ET via Zoom
Attendees must preregister on Eventbrite in order to receive the Zoom link:
Accessibility Note: ASL Interpretation available
Monday, March 15 to Sunday, March 21, 2021
Accessibility Note: Closed Captioning available
Buffalo Boy’s North – 1:28 min, 2006
Buffalo Boy’s Wild West – 2:34 min, 2006
Buffalo Boy’s Sacred South – 8:56 min, 2007
Buffalo Boy’s Don’t Look East – 7:03 min, 2008
Buffalo Boy Dreams in 4 Directions – 10:44 min, 2019
Notes from the artist: “Buffalo Boy Dreams in Four Directions”
Buffalo Boy is a character parody of Buffalo Bill and his Wild West shows. He is an identity construction of the “Indian”, cowboy, shaman and Two- Spirit being. The Shaman Exterminator can be likened to Hollywood’s ‘The Terminator’, but tackles new age spirituality, shamanism and pan-Indianism. Naked Napi is based on the historical Blackfoot Trickster character Napi whose stories speak to Blackfoot ways of being.
North: Buffalo Boy’s Genesis: This dream speaks to the beginnings of Buffalo Boy, his birth on the coldest day on earth, a super-natural life, colonial project and turning back time.
East: Buffalo Boy’s I hear the train a cumming! with special appearance by Naked Napi: This dream speaks to the slaughter of the bison, the Canadian National Dream i.e. Railroad with Naked Napi with his exaggerated patriarchal phallus, battling the colonial white supremist patriarchal capitalist storm.
South: Buffalo Boy’s ‘I love Australia, Australia loves me’: This dream speaks to the performance by Joseph Beuys – I Like America and America Likes Me. Buffalo Boy and the Shaman Exterminator reimagine Beuys’ performance, appropriating the Australian landscape and Dingo, using a bison robe instead of a felt blanket, golf club instead of cane and Dingo instead of a coyote.
West: Buffalo Boy’s The Battle of Little Big Horny II: This dream speaks to the colonial battles we face every day! Re-edited video from a 2008 performance ‘The Battle of Little Big Horny I’, remembers Buffalo Boy’s battle with the colonial project, his death and resurrection into the lightness of being Buffalo Boy.
I see my Blackfoot ways of knowing as central to my practice. The colonial world will always see me as the other, the outsider, and the problem needing to be dealt with. However, I am Niitsitapi, a Blackfoot person living in this world today and my centre transcends the colonial project.
Adrian Stimson is a member of the Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation in southern Alberta, Canada.
Adrian has a BFA with distinction from the Alberta College of Art and Design and a MFA from the University of Saskatchewan. He considers himself an interdisciplinary artist and exhibits nationally and internationally. He has exhibited in three International Biennales; Photo Quai, Paris, France 2009; The Shoreline Dilemma, Toronto 2019 and Narin, Sydney 2020.
His paintings are varied yet his use of black and white monochromatic paintings that depict bison in imagined landscapes are well known; 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 and 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. He 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 from 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 sculptural work includes Spirit of Alliance, a public sculpture in Saskatoon; the Bison Sentinel healing gardens of the First Nations University of Canada. And Inii Bison Heart, Bronze Bison to be unveiled in the summer of 2020 in Calgary.
His video work is includes “As Above So Below”, for With Secrecy and Despatch, Campbelltown Arts Centre, NSW Australia 2016, using drone cameras to create a 2 channel video played cinematically on the gallery wall, which spoke to colonial genocide through massacres on our traditional lands. As well as many short video’s of Buffalo Boy and the Shaman Exterminator.
He was a participant in the Canadian Forces Artist Program which sent him to Afghanistan in 2010. Two exhibitions resulted: Holding our Breath and Terms of Engagement that toured across Canada.
Adrian was awarded the Alumni of Influence award by the University of Saskatchewan in 2020, the Governor General Award for Visual and Media Arts in 2018. REVEAL Indigenous Arts Award –Hnatyshyn Foundation 2017. He was awarded the Blackfoot Visual Arts Award in 2009, the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003.
LOMAA’s Queer Frontiers critically reflects on Canada’s 50th anniversary celebration of the purported “decriminalization” of homosexuality in the country. Serving as a counter to the state revelries, LOMAA will host eight artists, artist duos, or curators who have established practices post-legislation and remain on the frontiers of Canadian queer media. This project centres queer narratives and praxis as a means to interrogate historical representation and continue fortifying queer futures within this country.
For more background information please visit: https://anti-69.ca/
Museum London is Southwestern Ontario’s leading establishment for the collection and presentation of visual art and material culture. Through public and educational programming, special events and exhibitions, Museum London strives to promote the knowledge and enjoyment of regional art, culture and history.
LOMAA would like to thank Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and London Arts Council for their support of this program and their continued backing and our presenting partner Museum London.