When Artist Emmanuel Osahor emigrated from Nigeria to Canada, what he expected was a utopia. Ignorant of Canada’s similar colonial legacy, and the consistent mirage of capitalist visions of paradise, Canada was placed on a pedestal since it was labelled “developed”, and Nigeria “developing”. After witnessing the realities in both countries, and with a growing awareness of current ecological, social and political turmoil, Osahor understands now that even as utopic visions of progress and development are created and pursued across the world, poverty, marginalization and separation continue to exist.
In light of this, what keeps us hoping and striving for just societies devoid of the inequity that permeates contemporary society? Is this hope tied to an intrinsic human desire for the unattainable utopos? And is it actually possible for an artwork to hold space for contemplating the fragility and impossibility inherent in utopic desire? Can it hold our grief for a world in ecological, social and political turmoil, thereby acting as catalysts for stillness and the contemplation of our future?
Deriving its title from a rough translation of the word “utopos”, No Place transforms McMullen gallery into a complicated sanctuary space. In an attempt to wrestle with the questions outlined above, this project will reflect on, and discuss the complications and inherent impossibility intrinsic to the desire for utopia and attempts at utopic space creation. Comprising of a collection of recent paintings of real and imagined landscapes within Edmonton, a living wall of tropical plants, and a soundscape of the Edmonton River Valley, this exhibition attempts to hold the tension of failure and impossibility within utopic desire, while also conveying the persistence of hope that is at the core of the human experience.
Who is it for?
Admission is free – Everyone is welcome!
WHEN & WHERE
Date: Monday January 6, 2020 to Saturday March 7, 2020
Monday to Friday: 11:00 am to 7:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Stat Holidays: Closed
Evening and weekend hours are subject to volunteer availability.
Venue & Address
McMullen Gallery, 8440 112 Street Northwest, Edmonton AB T6G 2B7
Accessible by Public Transport
Can be reached via Health Sciences/Jubilee LRT Station