Veins

© R. Mckeough, 2016

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© R. Mckeough, 2016

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Veins

Curator(s): 

Exhibition
April 14 to May 19, 2018

Opening
Saturday, April 14, 2018, at 5pm

Rita McKeough in conversation with Mikhel Proulx and Diana Sherlock
Saturday April 14, 2018, at 4pm

Veins is a multimedia installation that makes reference to the Alberta landscape—Rita McKeough’s home for the past decade. In it, a network of pipelines interlaces ‘natural’ terrain, as if an artificial system of blood veins. Dissecting the exhibition space is an asphalt road, both sides of which is peopled by animals, oversize poplar leaves, tree-trunks, train tracks, and a motorized oil pump jack. Slinking among these are giant mechanized snakes, as tree-trunks are beat gently by automatic drumsticks.

Wall projections show animated forest creatures, whose faces are blinking, twitching, and winking stop-motion collages made from images of leaves, nests, wood, and animal parts. Throughout, the sounds of bestial voices bark and breathe in the space. They give way to McKeough’s own tender—if fragmented—voice, are followed by singing and whistles, and then by a chorus. This is a scene of hybrid bodies, which gesture with both mechanical and animal signals. Such bodies are artificial—this is a very human and technological reproduction of nature, which motions toward humankind’s precarious dominion over the natural world.

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Rita McKeough

Calgary-based audio, media installation and performance artist Rita McKeough has exhibited and performed throughout Canada since the late 1970s. As of 2009 she is a recipient of the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts. Critical attention for Rita’s art practice has been featured in catalogues, arts periodicals, and many publications, including a forthcoming monograph edited by Diana Sherlock.

Mikhel Proulx

Mikhel Proulx is a cultural historian of contemporary art and digital visual media. His research considers Queer and Indigenous artists working with new media, and he has curated exhibitions across Canada, Europe, and the Middle East. Mikhel is a PhD student in the department of Art History at Concordia University, where he teaches media art histories.