Putting the WILD back into the west: starring Belle Sauvage & Buffalo Boy)

A description of the work from the former Western Front website, reads “Belle Sauvage & Buffalo Boy are performance personas created by artists Lori Blondeau and Adrian Stimson, investigating the impact of colonization on traditional and contemporary aboriginal culture. Blondeau’s Belle Sauvage is loosely based on Indigenous women who performed in Wild West shows and Vaudeville acts in the early 20th century, and also spoofs the 1950s film Calamity Jane, in which Doris Day performed as a cross-dressing, gender-bending white cowgirl. Buffalo Boy, a character parody of Buffalo Bill, is part of Stimson’s ongoing series of performances and exhibitions (including such works as Buffalo Boy’s Wild West Peep Show, Buffalo Boy Getting it from 4 directions, and Buffalo Boy’s Heart On) that re-signify colonial history.”

The following text is taken from Front Magazine, Sept/Oct 2006 Vol.XVII No.4 P.26:

Putting the WILD back into the west: starring Belle Sauvage & Buffalo Boy
Lori Blondeau and Adrian A. Stimson
Curated by Joanne Bristol
Thursday, Oct 19, 8pm

All will not be quiet at the Western Front when Belle Sauvage & Buffalo Boy ride into town. For one night only, Vancouver audiences are invited to witness and participate in a performative photo-op with the renowned and notorious multi-spirited plains duo.

Belle Sauvage & Buffalo Boy are performance personas created by artists Lori Blondeau and Adrian Stimson, investigating the impact of colonization on traditional and contemporary aboriginal culture. Blondeau’s Belle Sauvage is loosely based on Indigenous women who performed in Wild West shows and Vaudeville acts in the early 20th century, and also spoofs the 1950s film Calamity Jane, in which Doris Day performed as a cross-dressing, gender-bending white cowgirl. Buffalo Boy, a character parody of Buffalo Bill, is part of Stimson’s ongoing series of performances and exhibitions, including such works as Buffalo Boy’s Wild West Peep Show, Buffalo Boy Getting it from 4 directions and Buffalo Boy’s Heart On, that re-signify colonial history.

For Putting the WILD back into the west: starring Belle Sauvage & Buffalo Boy, Blondeau and Stimson will set up a ‘Wild West’ diorama and invite audience members to join them within it for a photo session, creating a scene where artists and viewers become co-participants in creating meaning and history.

Lori Blondeau is a Cree/Saulteaux/Métis artist and curator based in Saskatoon. She is a co-founder and the current director of TRIBE, one of Canada’s most innovative and exciting Aboriginal arts organizations. Blondeau’s performance, photo and media-based works have been represented nationally and internationally. She is currently completing a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Saskatchewan.

Adrian A. Stimson is a member of the Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation in Southern Alberta and a Saskatoon-based interdisciplinary artist. He has exhibited and performed nationally and is a sessional instructor at the University of Saskatchewan. His research has included identity, metaphysics, two spirit people, ecology, spirit and healing modalities within artists’ practice. Adrian was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003 and the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 for his human rights and diversity activism in various communities.

Digitized video available through Western Front Archives upon research request.