Dana Claxton – The Barbarian

Dana Claxton with the work
Dana Claxton
The Barbarian
Curated by Paul Wong
Opening Thursday, SWARM Sept. 10, 6-10pm
Artist Talk Saturday, Sept. 26, 2pm


ON MAIN is proud to present The Barbarian, a new exhibition by Dana Claxton. The Barbarian is a life-size photo-tryptch inspired by a narwhal tusk loaned to the artist. She received it shortly after the whale had given its life to the community.


“This huge tusk still felt warm as I unwrapped it. It had an enormous power/energy/spirit that was still attached to it.” -Dana Claxton


The Barbarians took shape from researching the narwhal and the tusk. From Inuit mythology to the Vikings going to Greenland there are many stories about the majestic tusk including its deception as the Unicorn tusk. The outcome is a creation of a work that collapses contemporary barbarians in search of natural man and natural law. In the tryptch the barabarian gets stripped of his armory he becomes at one with the narwhal tusk, thus he becomes one with the natural world and in essence he becomes Indian.


Dana Claxton is an interdisciplinary artist creating works in film, video, photography, installation and performance.  She is also active as a curator, television producer & director and educator. Ms Claxton has been garnering important national and international recognition and is currently putting together a project for the 17th Biennale of Sydney 2010 and a commission for the University of Lethbridge Gallery.  Awards include the Eiteljorg Fellowship (Indianapolis), VIVA (Vancouver).


Recent exhibitions include the Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Center, Sundance Film Festival, Biennale de Montreal. Her work has been attracting the interest of both private and major public art collections such as the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Caixiforum Fundacio  la Caixa, Barcelona, National Gallery of Canada, Canada Council Art Bank, Vancouver & Winnipeg Art Gallery’s and university collections throughout Canada and the USA.
She is well respected for he outspoken and leading views on contemporary aboriginal art and life. Starting this semester she is the Ruth Wynn Woodward Endowed Chair in Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. She has presented papers at the Getty Institute (LA), Mid-American Art College Association conference and the Art Institute of Chicago. Born in Saskatchewan, Vancouver is home. http://www.danaclaxton.com


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