Installed at Seymour Art Gallery
Vancouver, BC. 2013
Chair study, 2013
Birch, cedar, spruce, fir, pine, glue
The albatross and the raven, 2013
Type on manila paper
The knot, 2011
HD video. 1 min loop
About the project
The Knot is an installation that juxtaposes projected video with a pair of text based works and a wooden reproduction of a lifeguard chair. The installation considers my relationship to the landscape; it is a site of personal significance complicated by histories of colonization and settlement.
The video is an exploration of the aesthetic and expressive possibilities of performance in the landscape. Small, understated gestures may take on new poetic possibility once removed from their expected context and performed in a wilderness environment. I am interested in playing with familiar depictions of the forested landscape to destabilize the patriotic, heroic landscapes of the Group of Seven and the serene, beautiful imagery also typical of the genre to consider a more nuanced and complex relationship with the land.
The Raven and The Albatross is a mischievous pair of text based works. Through weaving literary symbolism with art historical references, it is my intention to challenge the sustaining myths of modernity.
The lifeguard chair was inspired by a visit to the Seymour Art Gallery (where the installation was first presented). Touring the area near the gallery, I was struck by the lifeguard chair located in the harbour. It is positioned to survey an implausible amount of water and at times, the water level is sufficiently high enough to almost immerse the entire structure. It seems rather absurd, and it is difficult to imagine it having more than an ironic function. By recreating the lifeguard chair in wood and placing it the gallery, I want to reinforce the physical and psychological place of the exhibition. The forest continues to be an important resource and economic driver in much of Canada, and I wanted to bring issues of resource development into the conversation. The lifeguard chair also brings associative meaning to the installation; conflicting ideas of protection, surveillance and futility are of particular interest.
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