Custer Rides Again

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Custer Rides Again is a site-responsive performance intervention that took place on 26th June 2012 in Central Park, Plymouth. It engages with a ‘hidden history’ of Plymouth: re-enacting a performance made by the performer William Cody, otherwise known as Buffalo Bill. In 1904 Buffalo Bill performed a reenactment of The Battle of the Little Bighorn as part of his show Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders of the World, in Central Park, in what was then known as ‘Exhibition Fields’.

The Battle of the Little Bighorn (also known as Custer’s Last Stand, or The Battle of the Greasy Grass), was a battle between The 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army led by General Armstrong Custer, and combined forces of First Nations American peoples. It was the most famous battle of the Black Hills War (also known as the Great Sioux War, or The Great Cheyenne War), in which the U.S. cavalry suffered a severe defeat. The battle took place on the 25th and 26th of June in 1867 near the Little Bighorn River in Eastern Montana, United States. Buffalo Bill and 300 performers on horseback created a reenactment of this battle, displaying a theatrical spectacle of warfare.

In this work, the artist attempted to ride, and subsequently fall off, a bucking bronco, 300 times.

Al photo credits: Simon Keitch.

With thanks to Arts Council England, Plymouth University, Plymouth City Council, Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth Arts Centre.