The Old View from Nowhere
Jennifer Dorner and David Poolman
Saturday October 18th-Saturday November 21, 2014
Opening: Saturday, October 18, 2-5pm @ G101
51 B Young Street, Ottawa, ON
The Old View From Nowhere is a two-person exhibition by Jennifer Dorner and David Poolman. Both artists’ works are thoughtful, quiet, and absurd examinations of imaginary/imminent planetary collapse. Dorner imagines us moving off our ruined planet to live in space pods. Poolman, on the other hand, attempts to quantify and illustrate our despair. They use humour to amplify the fear of our unstable position on earth while making it more apparent and easy to digest with beautiful, shiny map paintings and intricate sculptural creations of perfectly formed domestic objects.
Jennifer Dorners’ Area Code is a painting series in the shape of a world map depicting the four hemispheres. Here, we are imagining that the world has ended and people now inhabit outer space. The paintings fit the shape of a star system and this ties into mythology.
The Christmas lights, (as star systems), are meant to make us feel comfortable with this scenario. Dorner is using things that are familiar to us on earth such as the lakes and river systems depicted as water bottles.
Compared to her previous work, Dorner says these paintings are even more over the top: glossier, with a finer level of detail. She is also interested in researching ideas around space travel and which countries can afford to do it.
The Neighbourhood part of Area Code is a painting of a Montreal neighbourhood in a space pod. Therefore, it is an immigrant neighbourhood! This ties in with Poolman’s work, as it is terribly absurd. Although Dorner presents possibilities of human survival, Poolmans’ work is less hopeful and slightly more nonsensical.
David Poolmans' work Abandon Ship is a series of cast, burnt hotdogs that spell out the words “abandon ship.” Even before entering the gallery, you can see his installation: two flags that spell out the text “Average Grief.” The text-based work creates a deceptively simple message that emphasizes futility with farce.
Poolmans’ work is also a meditation on how humans cause and endure grief. Grief is unquantifiable so the flag is absurd, however, his work takes a serious investigation into accumulation. Poolmans’ practice includes making collections that signify our time on earth and our relative place within it: a series of hotdogs, a stack of sandwiches, and a ball of mice. These works speak to the preposterous accumulation of nourishment and waste that “modern” life demands.