adrian stimson

This is Adrian Stimson’s (Siksika Nation, Blackfoot) 2010 installation Beyond Redemption. The title, physical surroundings, and composition speak volumes about the devastating near extirpation of the plains buffalo (whose importance to the Plains peoples cannot be fully expounded here) due to the infringements and excessive hunting practices of colonial peoples. Beyond Redemption speaks about a population of animals whose rehabilitation in its natural habitat has been precluded, and when the buffalo is gone, so too is the way of life of an entire people; now, the buffalo (and also, the people’s lifeways) are relegated to the museum context in the form of a diorama, a physical space that is linked to the past and has a tendency to dichotomize various studies of the past into the realms of natural and human history.