This fascinating international exhibition features the incisive work of 4 Vancouver based artists and provides us with an insight into a range of contemporary practice in British Columbia, Canada today.
Dana Claxton is a First Nations artist of Lakota (Sioux) descent whose film 'The Red Paper' portrays the European colonialization of the New World from the viewpoint of the aboriginal people as a barbaric invasion and appropriation of land. Her scenario uses faux Elizabethan costume to parody the 'heroic discovery' account as celebrated and reinforced by history.
The artist Scot Keefer adopts the persona of a mythical savage ' Madillah ' and tracks him as he lopes through the Vancouver waterfront as it is being 'sanitised' as part of the regeneration of the city.
At first glance Scott McFarland's photographs appear as a true record of the lavish gardens of the well heeled in Vancouver society in keeping with the notion that 'the camera never lies'. Closer inspection, however, reveals evidence of digital reconfiguring ' flowers blooming together out of season and shadows that belie their origins. These horticultural havens are, in fact, laboured landscapes formed through the photographer's meticulous composition and re-vision, alluding perhaps to the staged early photographs of William Fox Talbot .
Fae Marie Logie's video installation, Scale 1:10,000 refers directly to Captain George Vancouver's survey of the inlets and islands of the northwest coast of North America which began in 1792. A one mile section of surveying tape of 'Indian Arm' is included by the artist to refer to the north arm of the Burrard Inlet, not navigated by Vancouver who was 'certain that it possibly could not run far', thereby filling a gap.
We are indebted to Vancouver City Art Gallery, British Columbia, Canada for the loan of Dana Claxton's work and to Jari Lager at Union Gallery, London for the loan of Scott McFarland's photographs.