The Images Festival 2013 Canadian Spotlight
A Memory Lasts Forever: Althea Thauberger
Co-presented by The Power Plant and FADO Performance Art Centre
When I was a tree-planter, long before I started art school, I started a yearly performance event (rather unremarkably) called Poetry Night. It was held during a party in the camp. Each planter had to take a turn presenting a poem, song, speech or skit of his or her own invention. After living and working for a season in severe wilderness conditions, people were often a little nutty and knew each other more intimately than they would have preferred. Imagine an abject scene with a group of scruffy twenty-somethings drinking heavily and entertaining themselves with performances about themselves and each other. These events were painful and hilarious and transformational in the way that the best art is transformational. They were totally site-and community-specific and changed my ideas of what a performance could be.
- Althea Thauberger
Our 2013 Canadian artist spotlight features the work of Vancouver-based Althea Thauberger. Often addressing concepts and themes concerning nature and its representation in popular culture, Thauberger also experiments with atypical forms of performance, improvisation and models of documentation. Working in both film and photography, her works feature the monumental and mannered formality of classical genre painting while addressing present-day issues in a hyper-realist style.
Often working with specifically defined communities or social groups - soldiers, teenage girls and tree-planters, among others - she works together with her subjects to develop performances that provide opportunities for self-presentation in relation to social structures. Her documentation of these collaborations results in a startling slippage between drama and documentary, between the real and the fake, simultaneously distancing viewers and enticing them into an intricate web of reference and representation.
not afraid to die // 2001, VIDEO, 6 MIN
Oh Canada // 2001, VIDEO, 4 MIN
A Memory Lasts Forever // 2004, VIDEO, 31 MIN
Northern // 2005, VIDEO, 8 MIN
Zivildienst = Kunstproject // 2006, VIDEO, 18 MIN
Msaskok // 2012, VIDEO, 6 MIN
Thauberger’s exhibition Marat Sade Bohnice is on view at The Power Plant until May 5, 2013.