The Canada Council for the Arts recently announced that EXTRACTION was selected as the winner in a national competition to be Canada's national theme for the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale, opening next May. Back in 2014, Canada left a solid impression with the "Arctic Adaptions: Nunavut at 15" exhibition, which won a Special Mention in National Participation during the awards ceremony.
"Extraction" will investigate the architectures, histories, and political economies of Canada's resource extraction industry, as a means to "radically rethink" the country's historic rise as a "global resource empire".
Read on for more.
Considering that the Great White North is home to 75% of Earth's prospecting and mining companies, resource extraction runs deep in the country's roots. "Extraction" will include an installation, a film, and a book featuring various perspectives drawn from history, business, art, activism, and more. Catherine Crowston of the Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) was appointed as the project's Official Commissioner while landscape urbanist Pierre Bélanger will lead the design team as Project Curator and Director.
'Canada has become a global resource culture — our operations, technologies, and services are nearly in every country on the surface of the earth, yet almost nobody knows the full extent of it...,' Pierre Bélanger commented in a press statement. 'At the base of this complex yet democratic conversation is the question of land, and landscape. That’s powerful.'
With support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the AGA, the Project & Design Team includes design and media organization OPSYS, in collaboration with: Geoffrey Thün, Kathy Velikov and Colin Ripley of architectural practice RVTR; Nina-Marie Lister with Ryerson University’s Ecological Design Lab; and Kelsey Blackwell of Studio Blackwell.
Additionally, the multimedia exhibition that will be displayed during the Biennale will feature contributions from prominent Canadian creatives like Michael Awad, Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky, Nick de Pencier, Eriel Deranger, Max Haiven, Thomas King, Alessandra Ponte, John Van Nostrand, Mel Watkins, Suzanne Zeller, and more.
"Extraction" debuts in Venice on May 27, 2016 in time for the Biennale. After the festival ends on November 27, 2016, the project will embark on a national tour during the 150th commemoration of Canada's Confederation in 2017.
'Resources run deep in Alberta, through the ground itself, but also through our economy, politics, land, daily life and ultimately through the province’s public identity and our own private lives,' stated Catherine Crowston. 'We are all connected – directly or indirectly – to resource extraction and, in Alberta, this connection is very strong, for we are conscious of both its benefits and the responsibilities this requires us to bear.'
All images courtesy of OPSYS.
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