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Exhibitions

Storytelling

21 Sep 2013 - 27 Mar 2014

Galleries B102, B103, B104

Folktales, fables and legends exist in every culture around the world. These stories serve to entertain, educate and even instill moral values.

MNGCMagazine article »

Folktales, fables and legends exist in every culture around the world. These stories serve to entertain, educate and even instill moral values. In recent times, chronicles of real and imagined events have evolved to include historical, cultural, political and even personal references. The four video installations in this exhibition, created by Althea Thauberger, Zin Taylor, Corin Sworn and Isabelle Pauwels present us with narratives that delve into the socio-political history of different locales: the Fassa Valley in Northern Italy, the Scottish Highlands, a renowned Glasgow theatre and the Belgian-occupied Congo.

Althea Thauberger
La mort e la miseria, 2008
High definition video, 6:20 minutes, and digital print mural, installation dimensions variable
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

Althea Thauberger collaborated with members of an isolated Italian community who speak an ancient language to produce a contemporary interpretation of the traditional folktale La Mort e la Miseria.

In The Flute of Sub Zin Taylor tells the story of a mysterious subterranean system of tunnels he discovered in Scotland and describes his process of translating the burrowed landscape into a musical instrument.

Zin Taylor
Flute of Sub, 2007
Digital video disk (DVD), PVC pipe, wood, velvet and magnet
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Photo © Zin Taylor

Corin Sworn’s The Lens Prism (Working Model for a Viewing Subject) features the stage performance of a monologue she scripted, recounted by actor David Allister, in which a character elucidates his particular experiences through the use of borrowed historical and fictional stories.

Corin Sworn
The Lens Prism: Working Model for Viewing Subject, 2010
Digital video installation, 17:00 minutes, print and other elements, installation dimensions variable
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Photo: Natalia Hug Gallery

Isabelle Pauwels
W.E.S.T.E.R.N., 2010
High definition video, 33:45 minutes, Mac Mini, projector, amplifier, speakers, sheet of 4 x 12 drywall, 12' diameter hut constructed out of pine 2 x 4's, palm thatch, and felt, 12 x 12 ft in diamteter
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Photo © NGC

In W.E.S.T.E.R.N., Isabelle Pauwels constructs a charged personal narrative by combining archival footage from home movies shot in the 1950s, while her grandparents were living in the Belgian Congo, with recent imagery from her mother’s suburban home.

In each instance the constructed artifacts and production stills that accompany the videos propose a different manifestation of the tale, encouraging viewers to engage in alternative ways and create their own interpretations.

Zin Taylor<br />
<em>Flute of Sub</em>, 2007<br />
Digital video disk (DVD), PVC pipe, wood, velvet and magnet<br />
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa<br />
Photo © Zin Taylor

Zin Taylor
Flute of Sub, 2007
Digital video disk (DVD), PVC pipe, wood, velvet and magnet
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
Photo © Zin Taylor