View of Forest, Dental Hospital, Pripyat 2012 Archival Inkjet Print 44"x54"
March 14th, 2014 to April 25th, 2014
Opening: March 14th, 5-8pm
Artist Talk Saturday, March 22nd, 3pm
Growth “I began photographing in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in 1994, eight years after the nuclear accident. I had been interested in the relationship between nature and culture – the contest between the natural world and the built environment – and I anticipated the exclusion zone would offer a unique set of circumstances. Cities and villages in the affected area were rendered uninhabitable, requiring the evacuation of 135,000 people. As well, a large pine forest surrounding the nuclear power plant died within days of the accident and had to be buried as nuclear waste. Journalists characterized the area as a "dead zone", which is what I expected to find. However, having photographed there on eighteen different occasions, it's apparent that nature has proliferated while the built environment has deteriorated. In the city of Pripyat, where the employees of the nuclear power plant once lived with their families and where these photographs are from, the courtyards and walkways have become dense with bushes and trees, and the spread of vegetation extends to the interiors of buildings. This growth has hastened the decay of the city, with roots weakening joints and cracking concrete, causing buildings to collapse. Soon, indoors and outdoors will become blurred, obscuring the remaining traces of a once thriving culture.” – David McMillan
Growth will encompass both the main gallery space and the project space. The exhibition brochure includes a response text by Derek Dunlop. The artist will be present at the opening reception on Friday, March 14th and will be giving a talk about his work on Saturday, March 22nd at 3pm.
All events are free and open to the public.
David McMillan was born in Scotland, educated in the United States, and since 1973 has lived in Winnipeg. His background is in painting but he became interested in photography, which led him to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Photographing there has been a preoccupation; since 1994 he has travelled to the exclusion zone 18 times. The work has been shown in a number of domestic and international venues, including Iceland, China, and Australia. In 2012, the photographs were included in the Helsinki Photography Biennial and later this year, a selection will be in the National Gallery's Biennial, in Ottawa.
Derek Dunlop completed his MFA at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and is currently based in Winnipeg where he was born and raised. He is a writer and an artist with a socially engaged studio art practice influenced by a variety of critical discourses. He will be exhibiting work in a show titled, Action+Object+Exchange with the Drawing Center in NYC in March, as well as participating in a painting residency with the Sam & Adele Golden Foundation for the Arts in upstate NY in August. He is the Director of Operations with PLATFORM centre for photographic + digital arts.