The White Man’s Treaties2018-03-04T03:14:05+00:00

Project Description

The White Man’s Treaties

2003

The White Man’s Treaties
The White Man’s Treaties

Rawhide, natural pigment, poplar frame, digital images
80” by 62” by 6”

Contemporary Sculptures

From The Seven Screens

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.”

Just as the treaties made by the US and Indian nations were broken or ignored the Geneva Conventions against war crimes is not applied to Israel. Hence Ringsby uses the text here to make a point of the hypocrisy & a parallel.

The images are all of Israeli human rights violations against Palestinians.

War Crimes as Described by the Fourth Geneva Convention:
Willful killing torture or inhumane treatment including willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to
body or health unlawful confinement of a protected person or rights of fair and regular trial taking of
hostages and extensive destruction of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.

(The Fourth Geneva Conventions are not applied to Israel as the US government has blocked any application of their use by the UN since 1947. the US has also blocked every single UN resolution against Israeli war crimes.)


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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