Michael Farnan
On the Subject of
Becoming Animal

This exhibition explores historical legacies and power relations embedded deep within modern concepts of wilderness and contemporary (re)imaginings of Canada’s nature/nation narrative. Serving as an interrogation into the often deployed trope of “becoming animal” within contemporary representational practices, the work in this show sets out to examine the political and cultural tensions that exist between the iconic and domestic nation. Highlighting the influence of artistic productions that have become foundational in the formation of the Canadian nation and an identity forged upon a reverential treatment of its fabled wilds, this show explores questions around the endurance of colonial narratives that continue to privilege and empower a symbolic use of nature that for many artists, young and old, has come to represent a romantic lament for an earlier, unspoiled time, and a space where one can emerge transformed and enlightened.