Buffalo Dudes perform at MoCNA, Santa Fe, August 2012

By Gloria Bell

Buffalo Dudes performed in Santa Fe at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts. Terrance Houle, Adrian Stimson, and Jamison Chas Banks completed their performance in front of a crowd of artists, curators, and interested passerby. Throughout the event they gave out jewelry and pottery shards, reminding me of feast days at pueblos in the Southwest, when hosts give out gifts to the crowd. Shedding their clothing, the performers went through moments of transformation. This brought to mind the shifting and fluid natures of identity, gender, and sexuality. (Warning: some of the images are for an adult-only audience).

Photography by Gloria Bell. Performance artist Adrian Stimson.

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 MFA from the University of Saskatchewan. He considers himself as an interdisciplinary artist and exhibits nationally and internationally.

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 BoyThe 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 sunrise to sunset.

Gloria Bell’s research and teaching examines visual culture focusing on Indigenous arts of the Americas, primarily from the nineteenth century through to contemporary manifestations. Currently, her research focuses on exhibition histories of First Nations, Métis and Inuit arts in the early twentieth century in Italy, Global Indigenous studies, decolonizing and anti-colonial methodologies, materiality studies, global histories of body art, and the importance of art as living history.