Dana Claxton, Baby Boyz Gotta Indian Pony, 2008
60" x 48"
Opening on January 13 at the Kamloops Art Gallery is Western, an exciting new exhibition curated by Charo Neville that deals with the idea of the "west" and the "western" in North American culture. Our own Dana Claxton will be exhibiting her sought-after Mustang Suite photographs alongside a plethora of other clever and unexpected works.
"Situated within active ranching country, the first exhibitions of the year look at how the mythology of the West has developed in this region and opens up a conversation about our relationship to this place. [...] This group exhibition aims to take stock of the history of settlement in the west and to reflect upon how this history and its manifestations have shaped the popular imagination. It includes an absurd and yet strongly metaphorical large-scale installation by the artist collective DRIL that features  the tumbleweed as the main protagonist. It also comprises a provocative work from the KAG’s permanent collection by Cornelia Wyngaarden that plays on the sexual stereotype of the “Marlboro Man” as well as the resulting installation from Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun’s polemical performance An Indian Shooting the Indian Act, also from the KAG's collection. Dana Claxton's Mustang Suite photographs, produced like slick advertisements, portray the complexities and contemporary realities of the "Indian" family through hybrid portraits. The exhibition also features Louise Noguchi's complete early video series Language of the Rope, in which the artist studies the phenomenon of re-staged and re-enacted cowboy culture. At times exaggerating these inherited and ingrained mythologies, the work in the exhibition challenges the “western” trope from multivalent perspectives, offering an un-romanticized pithy view of relations between cowboys, the North American frontier and First Nations peoples."
- Kamloops Art Gallery
 If you happen to be in Kamloops this winter, be sure to make it over to the KAG to see Western in all its glory. We are especially keen to see another great show put on by relative newcomer Charo Neville, whose curatorial hand keeps the KAG's programming poignant and fresh. Western runs until March 23rd.