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Oval (Siting Osiris) / Membrane / Valley of the Kings, Theban Mountains, Egypt, December 2000

Bill Vazan
Canadian, 1933
58 chromogenic prints (Ektacolor)
36 prints: 34.3 x 50.8 cm each; 22 prints: 50.8 x 34.3 cm each
Gift of the artist, Montreal, 2011
National Gallery of Canada (no. 2011.51.1-58)

Bill Vazan's large photographic installations of ancient sites allow viewers to connect with certain locales that retain the "traces of the natural and cultural energies that withstand the passing of time." In Ovale (Siting Osiris)/membrane one section, running horizontally throughout, depicts the bas-relief dedicated to the exploits of Ramses II at the temple of Abou Simbel in the Valley of the Kings, Thebes. A second globe section presents the landscape of the Valley of the Kings from an aerial view. The work focuses on the life of a particular figure within a site dedicated to ritual and the afterlife. Vazan has stated, "I'm fascinated with how people, no matter where, have tried to make this communication with something other than themselves — the other. Is there a connection with God? We all want to connect with God, whether or not we deny his or her existence."

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