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Owens Video Club: #1 Fan (Long Run)


9 July 2020 - 15 July 2020


9 July 2020
15 July 2020
Exhibition Category:

Works by

D’Arcy Wilson

Curated by

Emily Falvey
The artist, dressed in colourful athleisure wear, stands at the edge of a high cliff overlooking the ocean. In her hands she holds up a yellow banner in that reads, "LUV U 4 EVR.”

Owens Video Club: #1 Fan (Long Run)

About this exhibition

D’Arcy Wilson’s video #1 Fan (Long Run) begins with an aerial view of the artist. She is dressed in a pink windbreaker, blue shorts, and purple yoga pants as she runs through the majestic landscape of Elmastukwek, also known as the Bay of Islands in Western Newfoundland. As she threads her way through rhodora, tucamore and spruce, she holds a small, triangular sports pennant. Periodically on her run, she jumps and waves the flag like a die-hard fan at a concert or sports event. Eventually, she pauses near the edge of cliff to unfurl a homemade banner that reads, “LUV U 4 EVR.”

#1 Fan (Long Run) is part of an ongoing series in which Wilson assumes the persona of a nature enthusiast who enjoys performing fan labour in outdoor settings. Decked out in a variety of athleisure wear, she charges exuberantly into nature on a cheerful mission to ardently love what she meets there. The absurdity of this undertaking, which belies the white privilege typically associated with nature adventures, uses humour to underscore our estranged relationships with non-human others. This approach is typical of Wilson’s work, which often employs neo-sincerity and an ethics of care to unsettle human-centred identity politics. Whether singing lullabies to animal taxidermies (Tuck, 2011), attempting to reconnect wildlife specimens with their original habitats (The Memorialist: Museology, 2015-2017), or performing as the natural world’s #1 fan (ongoing since 2016), her work centres non-human animals, plants, and inorganic others, offering them compassion, respect, and love, while also framing Western relationships to nature as a disturbing mixture of absurd privilege and heartbreaking alienation. With humour and pathos, her work challenges settler-colonial technologies of preservation and stewardship and carefully illuminates the experiences of those living and non-living beings they serve to exploit.

–Emily Falvey, Director/Curator, Owens Art Gallery