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Ecotopia explores environmental conservation\, dest ruction and the cacophonous blend of architecture and decay in our technolo gical age. The exhibition borrows its title from Ecotopian fiction\, a subg enre of the utopian or dystopian\, where a vision for a world is either ide al or nightmarish. An element of science-fiction or futurism surfaces in so me of the work represented in this exhibition\, where artists are offering an alternative for postmodern living that enables a harmonious co-existence of nature and technology rather than environmental havoc. The artists also ponder the expressionistic grandeur of nature\, and how this has become su ffocated and overladen with layers of city debris and decaying architecture .
 
Why and how do we recreate and mediate nature? Using a vari ety of strategies and materials\, the artists in this exhibition point out the absurdities\, excesses and the challenges to these situations\, and the amnesiac response our population has taken up to these new falsehoods. In BGL’s Pinocchio a dangling chainsaw represents the proliferance of clear-cutting in Canada’s forests. David Brooks uses the material language of sidewalks\, plant material and infrastructural devices to address the i rrational efforts we exert to maintain a conflicted relationship with the n atural world\, as evinced in the common traits of our built environment. Ro dney Graham’s photographs also suggest the extent to which our experience o f landscape\, so crucial to Canadian culture\, is mediated rather than natu ral. He literally turns perceived romantic visions or notions of nature on their heads.
 
Other artists in this exhibition suggest that wh ile this world we live in may be topsy-turvy\, the new and decaying structu res that we have created have a suggested beauty in themselves\, a beauty o f decay where objects\, monuments\, and sites that have been overtaken by w eeds\, graffiti\, rabbit holes or worms are in fact a new archaeology for a new generation. This is particularly evident in the work of Isabelle Hayeu r\, where the artist investigates both conservation sites rich in natural a nd human history and disturbed sites in stages of disappearance\, or in Tri stram Lansdowne’s drawings which present landscapes dominated by abandoned structures that host new architectural growth. With its ability to perplex and entice in equal measures\, Ecotopia promises to unsettle comfo rtable notions about dominion and progress.

DTEND:20130414 DTSTAMP:20141219T145123 DTSTART:20130209 GEO:49.69597;-112.8370982 LOCATION:Southern Alberta Art Gallery\,601 Third Avenue South \nLethbridge\ , Alberta T1J 0H4 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Ecotopia \, BGL\, David Brooks\, Dagmara Genda\, Rodney Graham\, Is abelle Hayeur\, Tristram Lansdowne\, Maude Léonard-Contant\, Lynne Marsh\, Lisa Sanditz\, Jennifer Steinkamp\, T & T\, Kate Wilson UID:255722 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130209T220000 DTSTAMP:20141219T145123 DTSTART:20130209T200000 GEO:49.69597;-112.8370982 LOCATION:Southern Alberta Art Gallery\,601 Third Avenue South \nLethbridge\ , Alberta T1J 0H4 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Ecotopia \, BGL\, David Brooks\, Dagmara Genda\, Rodney Graham\, Is abelle Hayeur\, Tristram Lansdowne\, Maude Léonard-Contant\, Lynne Marsh\, Lisa Sanditz\, Jennifer Steinkamp\, T & T\, Kate Wilson UID:255723 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR