Dana Claxton works in film, video, photography, single- and multichannel video installation, and performance art. Her practice investigates beauty, the body, the sociopolitical, and the spiritual. Her work has been exhibited widely, including at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Sundance Film Festival; Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. She has been an influential teacher at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver; the University of Regina; Simon Fraser University, Vancouver; and currently in the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. She has received numerous awards including the prestigious VIVA Award and the Eiteljorg Fellowship. Her work is in major collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Canada Council Art Bank; the Vancouver Art Gallery; and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
Her work was selected for the 17th Biennale of Sydney Biennale (2010); La Biennale de Montréal (2007); Biennale d’art contemporain du Havre, France (2006); Microwave, Hong Kong (2005); Art Star Biennale, Ottawa (2005); and WRO Media Arts Biennale, Wroclaw (2003). She has created commissioned works for the University of Lethbridge Gallery, Alternator Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Urban Shaman, Moose Jaw Museum, and Art Gallery and Tribe. She has presented talks at the Getty Institute (LA) and the Art College Association (USA) and the Opening Week Forum of the Biennale of Sydney.
Claxton was born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, and her family reserve is Lakota First Nations—Wood Mountain located in beautiful southwest Saskatchewan. Her paternal Euro-Canadian grandmother taught her how to harvest and preserve food and her maternal Lakota grandmother taught her to seek justice.
Dana Claxton’s work is aesthetically innovative, brilliantly written and expertly paced. The thrust of her practice is political, spiritual and social, making it an essential contribution not only to the field of media art, but generally, to a more honest sense of history.
—Jason St. Laurent, 2002