Artwork > If the river ran upwards

If the river ran upwards
Silvina Babich / Alana Bartol / Diane Borsato / Carolina Caycedo
T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss & Anne Riley / Genevieve Robertson
June 16 – August 26, 2018

Walter Phillips Gallery, Main Space
Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Curated by Jacqueline Bell

"Inherent in all the work, on view until Aug. 26 at the Walter Phillips Gallery in Banff, is a critique of notions of land value. Because the projects circulate around areas already impacted by industry, they read not as artistic interventions in specific locales but as exorcisms or reclamations." - Lindsey V. Sharman for Galleries West

Watch a video about the exhibition here.

If the river ran upwards reflects artists’ engagements with regions across the Americas that have been sites of industrial activity. The selected works can be understood to redress what visual scholar Nicholas Mirzoeff has referred to as "Anthropocene visuality," naming the political implications of images that naturalize or glorify the presence of large-scale industrial activity and its pollutive effects.[1] In this framing, the exhibition draws on the work of prominent cultural critics T.J. Demos and Macarena Gómez-Barris, both of whom engage Mirzoeff's writings with the shared intent of problematizing depictions of ecological sites that privilege the land's extractive value.[2]

-curator Jacqueline Bell

[1] Nicholas Mirzoeff, "Visualizing the Anthropocene," Public Culture (May 2014), 26 (2 (73)): 230.

[2]See Macarena Gómez-Barris, The Extractive Zone: Social Ecologies and Decolonial Perspectives (Durham: Duke University Press, 2017), 97; and T.J. Demos, Against the Anthropocene: Visual Culture and Environment Today (Berlin and New York: Sternberg Press 2017), 70.