Indian Wars / Palestine2018-03-04T03:12:14+00:00

Project Description

Indian Wars / Palestine

2003

Indian Wars / Palestine

French version
Goat skin, poplar frame, video monitor
48” by 50”

Contemporary Sculptures

From The Seven Screens

A goat skin rawhide screen covering a video monitor is pictured above. Rawhide is used as an evocative primative material through which the history of the Palestinian people from 1948-2003 is see in a slide show format.

Winter Count paintings were made by the Plains Indians such as the Cheyenne. Their history paintings on buffalo robes used pictographs representing significant events in lieu of a written language. As these events were recorded in the dead of winter hence they were called Winter Count paintings.

Ringsby has taken this tradition and reworked it combining images from Palestine as he wishes to forge an historical parallel between the histories of these oppressed peoples. Both native peoples were driven off their homelands by settlers who justified their ruthless colonial land grabs with religion. The images used in Ringsby’s Indian Wars/Palestine, 2003 were either sent to him by friends in the peace movement in the Occupied Territories and from the UN.


Winter Count paintings were made by the Plains Indians such as the Cheyenne. These history paintings on buffalo robes used pictographs representing significant events in lieu of a written language. As these events were recorded in the dead of winter hence they were called Winter Count paintings. The Box and Border design featured here was once painted on the backs of Cheyenne buffalo robes worn in cold weather. Here they are painted in all natural pigment like the originals. Ringsby has taken this tradition and reworked it combining images from Palestine as he wishes to forge a parallel between the histories of these oppressed native peoples. The images used in Ringsby’s Winter Count paintings were either sent to him by friends in the peace movement in the Occupied Territories or from the UN. The text was found by the artist in the course of his exhaustive research preparations for “The Indian Wars-Palestine.”

Full rawhide skins have been impregnated with video and photographic images of atrocities committed in the Occupied Territories and Israel. The historical allusion is to the buffalo hide painting of the Plains Indians that artistically documented their battles. Neither people had a voice in the media; both watched helplessly as their cultures were leveled. The world was not moved by the plight of the Indian nor of the Palestinians until it was too late.

Click to read 2004 Press Release.

Click to read Artist Statement.

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