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Holding Our Breath

Adrian Stimson
June 4 – July 27, 2011

Reception: June 4, 8:00

Artist will be in attendance


Neutral Ground Contemporary Art Forum presents a new large-scale installation by Adrian Stimson focusing on the experience of war in Afghanistan. Based on the artist’s observations at the military base in Kandahar, as well as with conversations with the soldiers on the ground, this new work explores the ambiguities of war and links personal history with wider cultural and political issues. Through projection, audio, installation, drawing and painting, Holding Our Breath addresses the complexities of war, bringing us closer to understanding the complications of conflict within the context of present experiences and past histories.

Unlike contemporaries who have investigated the media portrayal of the perpetual state of warfare or how others experiences the daily realities of violence, Stimson presents conflict from a different perspective. Working from neither from within nor from outside the system, Stimson seeks to engage the complexity of war and to engage it with critical proximity than distance. Stimson’s personal history  he spent time in the military and his family has long served as soldiers within the Canadian military and historically as Blackfoot warriors  feeds into his ongoing interest in the links between personal, cultural and military identity.  But rather than endorsing the conflict in Afghanistan, Stimson’s work questions the essence of conflict itself  whether it is violent history of colonization and its post-colonial aftermath that he witnesses on the streets in Canada or in military occupied Afghanistan   it is manifest in his drawings of war-torn landscapes, portraits of First Nation soldiers and the memorialization of individual soldiers.

Born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Adrian Stimson is a member of the Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation in southern Alberta. His work includes installation, painting, performance, video, and photography. Performances at Burning Man on the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, have created \”Buffalo Boy\” as well as the \”Shaman xterminator\” who seeks to explore the myths, falsehoods and realities of Shamanic being. He lives and works in Saskatoon,  Saskatchewan. This exhibition will be accompanied by an essay by Elizabeth Matheson. The artist would like to thank the Saskatchewan Arts Board, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Department of National Defense – Canadian Forces Artist Program.|