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Scott Rogers   Where Is Our Twentieth Century Promised



June 26, 2015 - September 6, 2015

Opening Reception: Friday, June 26 at 5 PM

The work of Glasgow-based artist Scott Rogers often explores the human relationship to natural and constructed processes and environments.  In Where Is Our Twentieth Century Promised, he contemplates the physical and conceptual space of an exhibition as a site where multiple levels of influence, control, resistance, observation and value production are negotiated.

Previous works have considered the physical impact of the visitor within the gallery space.  In his 2014 exhibition, Negative Miracle, the accretion of footprints on the wall-to-wall canvas created a record of movement in space, capturing individual impressions and giving the temporal a sense of permanence.  In 2010 a collaborative work with Paul Woodrow titled After You've Gone combined two distinct but related installations.  Mirrored spheres were carefully positioned to reflect and observe everything within one gallery, while an adjacent room was lined in photo-luminescent paper.  In this florescent room visitors were invited to turn out the lights revealing their shadowy presence, ephemerally captured and recorded as the dark negative space in an otherwise glowing green enclosure.  Together the spheres and the luminescent room constituted two inverted possibilities: one which collects and compresses the space into its central nexus, the other which explodes the centre, leaving only the subtlest trace behind. 

In this exhibition a collection of fallowed birdfeeders are configured to control the movement of visitors in the space.  Loaned from the artist's parents' yard in Calgary, the feeders continue their role as luring devices tied to acts of observation.  At the four corners of the gallery artificial falcons survey the room.  Acting as sentinels or security guards, they produce an atmosphere of subtle, passive surveillance - complicating the relationship between the gallery visitor and the exhibition.  Here the relationship of care and desire produced between the feeders and the visitors is challenged, bringing aspects of cunning, camouflage, and data collection into consideration.

In addition, Rogers will introduce drawing, text, video and a variety of subtle interventions into the gallery space, cumulatively converging around ways that bodies are indexed, quantified and manipulated within environments.  How do we track the movements of humans and other organisms on an institutional level (in the gallery) and on a global level (migration patterns), and what are the implications of doing so?

Scott Rogers is a Calgary-born artist currently living and working in Glasgow, UK.  He holds a BFA from the University of Calgary and recently completed his MFA at the Glasgow School of Art where he was awarded the Gordon Fellowship for outstanding achievement in visual art.  Rogers has exhibited internationally including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, the UK, the USA and throughout Canada.

This exhibition is organized by the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and curated by Christina Cuthbertson.  Funding assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the City of Lethbridge.

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