This support paper expands on ideas, research, and observations that have driven the production of my MFA Thesis Exhibition, This Apparent Magnitude, hosted by the Trianon Gallery for the month of July 2019. The exhibition consists of four projects that represent the culmination of two years of research, travel, and creation, all centred around critical approaches to the depiction of physical environments. I have chosen these projects for their syncretic content and responsiveness to the Trianon space.
image by dan_prat
drywall, pine lumber, latex paint, inkjet print on archival paper, fiberboard frame, polystyrene
I purchased the Extended Rights to an image from istockphoto.com and hung it on a provisional gallery wall in a field for one year.
Thanks to Ike & Diana Lanier.
Looking Back At Us
Inkjet print on archival paper
From the far side of Lake Louise, looking back at the Fairmont Chateau, Alberta’s most popular photographic vantage point.
Emergency Combustion Kit
MDF, spray paint, glass, fire starter accessories
The Impossibility of Rain
Inkjet print on vinyl off-cuts(3), aluminum composite, UV laminate, tin/aluminum cans found in the Frank Slide, Alberta
On a farm at the foot of Mount Backus near Beaver Mines, Alice Rudd is out of bed at four o’clock. She dresses, combs her hair, and starts a fire in the kitchen stove. While the stove heats up, she goes into the garden for a spray of bride’s wreath to arrange in her hair. She walks to the chicken coop awaiting fresh eggs for breakfast when the sky to the north exhales a soft rumble. The rumble continues, and builds to a steady thunder that reverberates through farm and foothill. Alice’s eldest son, Jacob Rudd, stumbles barefoot out of the kitchen and into the garden. “Rain coming?” he says, rubbing his eyes. “No.” she says, looking up at the dimming stars in the wide, blue twilight, “that’s impossible.”
-Beaver Mines, 1904
At 4:10am on April 29, 1903, 110 million tonnes of limestone detached from the east face of Turtle Mountain, burying half of the coal-mining town of Frank and killing 90 people. The average depth of the landslide is approximately 13 metres. Blackfoot and Kutenai peoples had warned the settlers of the mountain’s instabil- ity, referring to Turtle Mountain as “the mountain that moves,” but industrialist efforts would continue, leading to the Hillcrest Mine Disaster of June 19, 1914, which killed 189. Mining operations con- tinued until 1939.
45 in Yellow Grass
35mm scanned prints (10), dirt (3kgs), pine box with aluminum plate
Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan currently holds the record for hottest day in Canadian history. On July 5th, 1937, the town reached 45 degrees Celsius. On July 5th, 2018, I visited Yellow Grass and shot two rolls of film with my father’s Pentax Super-A, the same camera that introduced me to what I thought the past looked like before I was born. Three kilograms of dirt were collected from ground squirrel holes using a brush and dustpan. With heatwaves bringing record-setting temperatures around the world, it’s only a matter of time before the Canadian record at Yellow Grass is broken.
46 in Red Rock
HD Video, 1080p, AAC Stereo
Red Rock Coulee was once the bottom of an ancient sea. Bedrock lies close beneath the surface and large red concretions appear sporadically like mis- placed boulders amidst the banks of shale and sandstone. The concretions are formed by calcite and iron oxide that slowly accumulated around clusters of leaves, shells, and bones on the seabed 65 million years ago. Some of the concretions have a diameter of up to 2.5 metres.
This part of the Alberta badlands is home to a variety of cacti, rattlesnakes, scorpions, and horned lizards; but, despite its desert features, Red Rock Coulee does not hold the record for hottest day in Canadian history. This meta-documentary exploits the documentary structure by revealing the various stylistic tropes used to persuade audiences of the documentary’s claims to truth. 46 in Red Rock sets up a hypothetical situation in which Red Rock Coulee, Alberta hits a record-setting temperature of 46 C.
Refined Pallets (work in back alley)
found pine pallets, Dulux mistints: