MAIN SPACE EXHIBITION
SEPTEMBER 22 – NOVEMBER 12, 2016
RECEPTION: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 AT 8 PM
LOCATION – STRIDE GALLERY
1006, MACLEOD TRAIL S.E, CALGARY, ALBERTA
Landscape is one of the most evocative tropes in Canadian visual culture, a popular genre and a cliché that often insist on conventional and stereotypical representations of the country. It is nevertheless a most powerful subject matter still very much appreciated by practitioners and audiences alike. Generations of artists have attempted to capture and depict the sensation of being overpowered by the majesty or beauty of the natural environment time and time again.
In Performing the Landscape, each artwork introduces elements of performativity into the ‘natural environment.’ The landscape becomes a temporarily occupied and humanized space, and yet it resists the pressure of simply shifting to the background and becoming static scenery. This exhibition challenges these traditions and the conventional understanding of this genre by presenting the work of 13 international artists who have recently reinterpreted this theme, often with humour or in a deadpan manner.
Stride Gallery presents a work by Ragnar Kjartansson, The Man (2010). In The Man, music and performance, time and history, are ambiguously interwoven as the artist cedes the stage to the late bluesman Pinetop Perkins. Framing the then-ninety-six-year-old Perkins against an evocatively rural backdrop Kjartansson observes his subject with a clear-eyed calm that is resolutely unsentimental yet profoundly humanizing.
RAGNAR KJARTANSSON (b. 1976 in Reykjavik) studied at the Iceland Academy of Arts and the Royal Swedish Academy in Stockholm. His works have been shown in museums and institutions around the world. Recently, the Barbican Centre in london (2016), the Tyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary in Vienna (2013 and 2014) and the New Museum in New York (2014) presented solo shows of Kjartansson’s works. in 2009, Kjartansson represented Iceland at the Venice Biennale, and in 2011 he received the Malcolm McLaren Award at Performa 13 in New York.