November 4, 2010—January 15, 2011
Was there ever any domination which did not appear natural to those who possessed it?
In Was there ever any domination which did not appear natural to those who possessed it?, Blaine Campbell presents work from an ongoing series of landscape studies which seek to investigate the mythos of nature in the collective Canadian psyche. This idealization of landscape has been predicated on a belief that the wilds of nature are unbounded, expansive, and largely untouched. In many ways this is a constructed ideal: like many other parts of the world, the Canadian landscape is equally subject to processes of manipulation, as our collective intervention and impact becomes increasingly prevalent. Presented as large-scale photographic prints and the beginning of a related sculptural investigation, these works examine the marks and detritus of change, use and exploitation; many exhibit the aftermath of an inherent violence within and upon the landscape. The allure of landscape as a trope and its many long-standing aesthetic conventions are at play, wile an underlying anxiety is also piqued in order to question society’s long-term relationship to our surroundings. Investigating the traces of human habit and force on physical surroundings is a continuing theme in Campbell’s work, one that he has also explored through the highly manipulated Dutch landscape, repurposed architecture in Instanbul, and a series of large hybridized works.