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Michael Farnan, Pilgrims of the Wild 2016, video, duration 40 min.
Image: “the beaver at Grey Owl's cabin”, courtesy of the artist.

Michael Farnan
Representing Wilderness: Community, Collaboration and Artistic Practice
June 3rd to June 25th, 2016
Opening reception: June 3rd at 7:00 P.M. Free admission

Michael Farnan’s recent work explores the tension between sweeping visual representations of the Canadian landscape and, in contrast, the daily lives and domestic spaces of individual Canadians. He accomplishes this through re-enactments of national narratives and by reconsidering relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. Using humour, parody and collaboration as tools for critical inquiry and reflection, Farnan asks us to reevaluate how we think about our relationship to nature.

This exhibition of drawings, sculptures and videos, which is the culmination of Farnan’s doctoral research at Western University, brings together an array of familiar characters from popular culture—the Group of Seven, Grey Owl, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner, Boy Scouts—to reflect upon colonialism, wilderness, and nationhood. Two collaborative videos, Dance for the Narrows and Pilgrims of the Wild, which feature performances by artists Lori Blondeau and Adrian Stimson, draw upon an array of film conventions—narrative cinema, documentary, experimental video, and epic nature films—to provide an alternate perspective on the Canadian landscape.

Farnan received his MFA from the University of Saskatchewan and a BFA from Concordia University. He has exhibited extensively in Canada, including, in 2015: N2N: Widening the Narrows, a group show curated by Matt McIntosh and Wanda Nanibush featuring Michael Belmore, Nadia Myre, Travis Shilling, and Osvaldo Yero (Orillia Museum of Art and History); and Mamoowiang To Make Change, curated by Jaimie Isaac and Leah Decter, featuring Ayumi Goto, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Peter Morin, Adrian Stimson, Scott Benesiinaabandan and Paul Zacharias. (The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba).

Representing Wilderness is organized by McIntosh Gallery in collaboration with Western University’s Department of Visual Arts PhD program in Art and Visual Culture. We acknowledge with gratitude the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

New McIntosh Gallery Publications

Kelly Wood: The Vancouver Carts, essays by Clint Burnham, Kirsty Robertson, and Max Haiven. Published by McIntosh Gallery and Black Dog Publishing, London UK. 176 pages. Order here.

Ed Pien: Luminous Shadows, essays by Angela Kingston, James Patten and Catherine de Zegher. Published by McIntosh Gallery and Black Dog Publishing, London UK. 112 pages. Order here.

Ron Benner: Three Questions, essays by Miriam Jordan-Haladyn, Julian Jason Haladyn, Dot Tuer, and Tony Weis. Published by McIntosh Gallery. 163 pages. Available at Brown & Dickson. Order here.


For more information contact Lucas Cabral, Communications and Outreach Coordinator, at lcabral3@uwo.ca


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