Photo Flash: LAND|SLIDE: Possible Futures, Now Open at Markham Museum
Land|Slide: Possible Futures is a large-scale art intervention featuring 30 local and International Artistsrunning until October 14 at the Markham Museum.
From the creative curatorial team behind The Leona Drive Project and the 2012 Nuit Blanche Museum for the End of the World (City Hall zone) Land|Slide transforms the Markham Museum, including its 30 historic buildings from the 1850s-1930s to create a fascinating backdrop against which artists explore and reinterpret some of the most pressing issues facing Canadians today: how to balance ecology and economy, farming and development, history and diversity.
Singing our bones home is a homage to the buried bodies in the Markham Ossuary. This installation utilizes sound, projections and sculpture to create a dialogue between the different architectural structures: the wigwam that represents nomadic lifestyles, and the wagon shed that is a symbol of settlement. The projections convey static or monochromatic landscapes that appear to be dismal or uninhabited. This contrasts with the diverse population currently living in Markham. The installation grapples with the myth of terra nullius, which considers the land to be void of people or settlement.
Always Popular; Never Cool is a full-scale diorama about coercive sex and so called "slut-shaming" Installed in a period-decorated log cabin, it shows six figures playing out a scene that takes place in some liminal space which is both 1857 and the present day: a house party at which a sexual assault has just been interrupted. The figures wear clothes from both the 1850s and today, and music from both eras plays in the background. With this work, we hope to make clear the havoc these incidents wreak for all the people involved, as well as exploring the effects technology has played in the ways in which shame is experienced. By presenting the figures in the installation as citizens of both 2013 and 1857, we hope to show the frightening durability of the ideologies and practices of rape culture.Warning: This installation may contain content only suitable for mature audiences.
Guh Why Low is the Cantonese pronunciation of white ghost, at best a charming nickname or, more likely, a deserved insult that marks whiteness and the empty promise of colonialism. The spectral lesbian haunts the house as the white ghost, traced through lines of European ancestry, simultaneously written and erased through racist and homophobic histories. With same sex marriage (and divorce) well established in Canada, it appears to some as though things are how they ought to be. To others it is a harbinger of doom and the nigh end times. To capture this tension, crocheted cobwebs loom and cloy in corners, knobs rattle, and lesbian ghosts moan from the basement.Warning: This installation may contain content only suitable for mature audiences, and may be frightening to small children.
The Strickler Barn contains four interesting hoist pulleys that express the beauty of primal craftsmanship. Frank Havermans considers these tools as the ultimate form of local intelligence and self-sufficiency. Reincarnated and transformed by a system of pulleys and wheels, the hoist tools use tension to hold up an urban structure outside the barn. The installation is an observation of local intelligence under massive (sub)urban development with the question in mind: Is the city a virus evolved from the same ingenuity that first developed those pulleys, but which in the end destroys rural life?This project is generously supported by the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The MARKHAMAZE will become an important part of world history, (going back over 4000 years,) of pavement designed pathways set into our earth. Throughout history the symbolism of the maze has captured our imaginations & stimulated spiritual consciousness & enlightenment among different cultures worldwide. It's been a desire of the artist IAIN BAXTER& to create an ECOLOGY inspired artwork that will encourage all of us to do our part to save our MOTHER EARTH. Our personal sensitivity to our fragile environment & our continued actions around sustainability will be greatly motivated by visiting & walking the MARKHAMAZE... see YOU there...This project is generously supported by Holcim (Canada) Inc.
Urban Vernacular depicts a series of cobbled-together dwellings located on the fringes of urban space. Plastic bags, obsolete electronics, party decorations the detritus of consumer culture become construction materials, tenuously assembled and decorated by an unseen hand. The forms echo vernacular architectures that might have been built, in the past, from sod or snow, but are instead constructed from today's more plentiful material: trash. Located in urban junkscapes, the assemblages encroach upon existing architectural elements and absorb nearby debris. The scene is set, the story could take place anywhere or nowhere; in the recent past, present, or future. The camera has frozen this one moment, leaving us to speculate as to what has come before or, more importantly, what comes next.
Construction of a 500m river began in June 2013 with cutting sod, tilling and seeding a broken line across the Markham Museum site. By late October, the path will reveal a dynamic and unpredictable growth of over 8 edible flowers primarily sunflowers, a traditional Ontario crop during one of the provinces most turbulent summers.The River will meander, disappear and reappear, to articulate the enduring tension between nature and nurture, past and present, human encroachment and emerging environmental innovation. At its height, The River will act as a beacon to remind the visitor of an agrarian history while providing a visual bridge to Markham's possible future as a unique corridor for sustainable living.
Several manifestations of slaughter are revealed in the slaughterhouse building. The seven-channel work is viewed and heard from the outside of the building though several peek holes in the aged barn boards. Slaughterhouse weaves several inter-connected stories of loss throughout southern Ontario: of land and agriculture, of property and business, through political, social, economic and environmental slaughter. The materials are gleaned from public and personal sources, including the rise and fall of the his family's slaughterhouse and pork processing plant, Hoffman Meats (1951-81), in Kitchener, Ontario. Editing and Sound Design by Marcel Beltran.Slaughterhouse is produced with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.