MAIN SPACE EXHIBITION
FEBRUARY 7 – MARCH 1, 1997
RECEPTION: FIDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 1997 AT 8 PM
ARTIST TALK: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 1997 AT 4 PM
LOCATION – STRIDE GALLERY
722, 11 AVE S.W, CALGARY, ALBERTA
HOW TO HELP ANIMALS ESCAPE FROM DEGRADED HABITATS is an ongoing project including a web site, field guide, interactive telephone system and a set of kits to assist those wishing to help animals escape from degraded habitats. The kits will be shown at the Stride Gallery and are equipped with specially designed tools for either frog, insect or prairie dog rescue.
The terrain between rigorous conceptualism and quirky humor can be difficult to traverse. Irreverence is often perceived as the antithesis to theoretical posturing and the exploration of socially relevant concerns in art. Despite this, Montreal artist Bill Burns manages to walk the line in his exhibition, How to Help Animals Escape from Degraded Habitats: The Kits. Part of an ongoing project that has included previous exhibitions, a field guide, website and interactive telephone system, Degraded Habitats questions the “dominant narratives about the needs and lives of animals in late capitalist economies”.
This project examines the complexities of green ideology with humour and irony and reflects the artist’s earnest desire to understand the way we express the needs of animals on the planet with decreasing space. Using the kits, Burns attempts to unravel ethnocentric and anthropomorphic representations of nature. How to Help Animals Escape from Degraded Habitats contests the common practice, in both the arts and the sciences, of projecting existing social patterns onto the animal world and interpreting them as if they originated there.
BILL BURNS is an artist and a writer who works in Montreal. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria in 1980 and completed his Master of Arts in Visual Studies at the University of London, Goldsmiths’ College, England, in 1987. While buried in his investigation of green ideology and trying to understand how we relate to animals on a shrinking planet, Burns has been exhibiting his work nationally and internationally for over a decade.