(Canada + Germany)
Althea Thauberger’s video works, like her photography, are the outcome of participatory group projects. Northern (2006) was produced within a community of tree planters in the Canadian Rockies in Alberta. Here we discover a wasteland where slumbering (or perhaps dead) bodies are awoken, one after another, and group together to form a sculptural pose that is suggestive of Gericault’s 1819 Raft of the Medusa.
Born in Saskatoon, Canada, in 1970
Lives and works in Vancouver, Canada, and Berlin, Germany
Althea Thauberger’s photographs and video works contemplate and expound upon the broader social implications of her intimate life experiences. Her work touches on such diverse topics as psychological scars, the disharmony of human relationships and nature, and the disillusionment of pop culture. Such is the case, for example, with A Memory Lasts Forever (2004).This portrayal of four girls who find a drowned family dog in a pool is based on a memory from Thauberger’s childhood. It investigates the emotional transformations that become critical elements in the construction of our self-image by inviting each of the four girls to interpret their reaction to finding the dog. In this way, rotating subjectivity becomes a creative tool and an allusion to memory as a construct. However, as other collectively conceived projects such as Songstress (2001– 2002) and Zivildienst ≠ Kunstprojekt (2006) exemplify, wider social pressures also exert a heavy influence on who we are. Wading through the pervasive and aggressive influences of pop culture, contemporary youth often become involved in self-assessments that lead to a loss of adolescent innocence. By comparison, the focus in Northern (2005) is placed on the harsh impact, this time environmental rather than cultural, of the rigorous Canadian tree-planting industry. People lying in slumber on a field of dead trees become a metaphor for our complacency before the harsh treatment meted out to the pristine Canadian wilderness. After the characters are literally awakened from their deep sleep, the viewer is compelled to consider the ramifications of the growing psychological dichotomy between the natural and the human.
[SEPT. 06 – OCT. 21, 2007]
OPENING THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 06, 2007 AT 9 PM
WEDNESDAY TO SUNDAY FROM 12 PM TO 5