Civic Study (interim)

Using details taken from institutional structures and public memorials, Civic Study (Interim) engages with ideas of representation within the spaces that those structures represent. The implied narrative that the images comprise focuses on land use, stewardship, and wrestling with the impact of past settlement behaviours, searching for a visual language that embodies an equitable way of moving into the future without further appropriation. 

Through sculptural components, the exhibition investigates the inter-reliant nature of city spaces, creating a network of intersecting geographies, sites, and histories that compose a constantly changing urban fabric. Chandelier depicts a series of maps and building plans that overlap, their transparency offering the viewer a vision that is directly affected by their own vantage point. 

The works in the exhibition are composed from large copperplate etchings, trimmed after completion. Through the process, the images are dissected, examining the components that comprise Euro-centric power structures. The construction materials depicted act as surrogates for the mechanisms of power, which the works isolate and interrogate. Through the focus on formal and material elements of these structures, removed from their context, the work points to the narrow groups of the population that have historically held power in Canada. The work also seeks to depict the disconnect between the decisions made by those in positions of power, and the broader populations that feel the effects of them. The narrative leads not to a point of resolution, but sits unfinished, representative of the ongoing effort that reconciling this imbalance entails.

I would like to acknowledge the funding support of the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

all images © Alex Thompson 2022
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