Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Buffalo Bill's Indians

have, quite wonderfully, appeared at La Tienda, at the entrance to Eldorado.   These are some seventy cut-out and painted plywood figures by the Seattle artist Thom Ross, who came upon a 1902 photo of Buffalo Bill's Wild West at Ocean Beach, San Francisco, in 2006 - and decided to recreate the scene.   All 108 figures from the photo were constructed and colored, life-size, and arranged in an installation at, indeed, Ocean Beach in 2008.   Since then, they've been in storage in Seattle - until the Indians were let out in order to appear in Eldorado, no longer posed as if for a publicity photo, but riding through the sage bush.   And the cowboys have been entirely removed, leaving the Indians to take over the land.   They are hardly Pueblo Indians, but even if anachronistic, their effect is pretty striking.   And it's odd, too, to feel as though one's own research has somehow been brought to life, albeit in post-modern form.

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