Julian Rosefeldt, "Clown," 2005
Image courtesy of the artist
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 over time to capture and depict the sensation of being overpowered by the majesty or beauty of the natural environment.
This exhibition aspires to challenge 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. 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.
The artists included in this exhibition were selected to represent a number of different perspectives on the theme performance in the landscape, in addition to a range of geographical locations.