ambiguous homoerotic characters barely discernible under heavy Cree text. In Heaven
and Earth, Share is distinctly masculine; her femininity and persona as the artist's alter-
ego emerge as the series progresses. It is through the act of performing sexuality that
Share comes into her own existence and that the artist recognizes himself in her. The
series also begins with more ambiguities than Share's gender; this first scene could be
interpreted as an act of rape or as a complicit act. This is an interesting point, given
Foucault's notion of complicity as being a necessary component of power. Share is using
her sexuality as a site of power, and stamping her authority on land, culture, and history;
yet there is the suggestion that perhaps her partner is ready. Performance plays heavily in
the painting, as sex is performed as a function of transformation; Share's act insists on the
existence of queer Native identity on the colonial landscape.
Re-Mythologizing the West
Monkman continues to create new myths in the subsequent paintings in the series. In The
Trilogy of St. Thomas, a tragic love story unfolds between Miss Chief Share Eagle
Testickle and her Orangeman lover, the young Thomas Scott. [show image] The trilogy
uses the standard tragic love affair format to draw parallels to the complex relationship
between Native peoples and their colonizers. The first painting in the trilogy, The
Impending Storm, references Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Cole, the highly religious
Hudson River School painter, using the storm as an allegory for the "end of innocence"
and "impending doom of civilization" that are about to encroach on Native life.28 Next,
The Fourth of March references the execution of Thomas Scott by Louis Riel, a historical
event that had a significant political impact on what was to come for the Cree people of
Manitoba, Monkman's ancestors.