A Gust of Wind
Exhibition Dates: October 3 - November 14, 2015
Opening Reception: Friday October 2, 7-10pm
Panel Discussion: Saturday October 3, 3-4pm
Organized by Patrick Mahon
Sean Caulfield (Edmonton, AB); Karilee Fuglem (Montreal, QC); Elida Brenna Linge (Norway); Patrick Mahon (London, ON); David Merritt (London, ON); Tegan Moore (London, ON); Francine Savard (Montreal, QC); and artifacts from the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel, Western University.
The wind has been treated by artists, both historically and more recently, in order to draw attention to a weather phenomenon that invokes questions about representation and representability. Jeff Wall’s important work, A Sudden Gust of Wind (after Hokusai) (1993), plays off of the famous Japanese ukiyo e print to propose ideas concerning picture-making, and also reminds us of the ephemeral character of artist’s practices – while seemingly ‘discussing the weather.’
From a scientific and engineering standpoint, it is well known that the wind is regularly subject to ‘testing’ that involves attempts at making the invisible visible – both for pure research and the purposes of ensuring the potential structural integrity of proposed buildings. The latter pursuit regarding the needs of the built environment is surely increasingly necessary in the times in which we live.
The group exhibition, A Gust of Wind, brings together a select group of artists to highlight ideas and approaches that engage with wind via the metaphorical, the phenomenological, the documentary, and the poetic. At the centre of the exhibition is a selection of artifacts that help to locate the project in a terrain where artistic concerns and technological experimentation meet. A vast collection of miniature white plastic buildings used in wind testing at the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel at Western University in London, Ontario, are installed on the second floor of the gallery: a set of curious artifacts and an inanimate spatial poem. Situated on large tables at the centre of the gallery, the installation suggests unlikely islands that point to human aspirations and also vulnerabilities with respect to the physical realities – the wind, the weather – that bear on life on planet earth.
Organized by artist, Patrick Mahon (whose work is presented in the exhibition), the project includes individual works by the following Canadian artist: Sean Caulfield (Edmonton, AB); Karilee Fuglem (Montreal, QC); David Merritt (London, ON); Tegan Moore (London, ON); and Francine Savard (Montreal, Q.C.), and Norwegian artist, Elida Brenna Linge. Through photography, painting, sculpture, print media and video, the artists respond to the wind through a range of visual strategies that remind us of its power and its delicacy. And they also show us that we may often know the wind less through our eyes than through its touch and its effects on physical materials, including with their potential to give the wind its ‘voice.’
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