Wanderings of a Rubbish Picker

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© Courtesy of the Artist and Southern Alberta Art Gallery
Wanderings of a Rubbish Picker

601 Third Avenue South
T1J 0H4 Lethbridge
April 19th, 2015 - April 26th, 2015

403 327 8770
Tue-Wed, Fri-Sat 10-5; Thu 10-7; Sun 1-5


Wandering, to ramble with the resolve to discover something not (yet) known.

Through the Rubbish Picker the notions of the pragmatic aesthetic, forgotten spaces and unseen actions are expressed.  The performance persona of the Rubbish Picker is a contemporary of the Caspar David Friedrich character in Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog (1818).  Both characters conjure a double sense of awesomeness and of dread when faced with the things and places encountered during their wanderings.  I plan to take the Rubbish Picker on two walks, for which there is an open invitation to the community to participate.  The first walk will be four hours in the City of Lethbridge where the Rubbish Picker will pick up litter as it lies at the side of the streets and in the Coulee.  On a separate day, there will be another four-hour walk carrying one or two bags of rubbish collected during the first walk from the City north to the Lethbridge Waste and Recycling Centre (approximately 13 km) where he will deposit the bags into the face of the landfill.  After depositing the bag(s) of rubbish, the Rubbish Picker will stand at the top of some of the mounds of separated waste (mattresses, concrete, kitchen appliances, etc.) to have his picture taken in a contemporary re-creation of the scene from Friedrich's 1818 painting.

The wanderings of the Rubbish Picker provide an entry point for conversations about social behaviour and our relationship to waste.  Waste is often hidden and "magically" removed to unknown places.  Yet waste is produced everyday.  What is the relationship between society's search for continual growth and the seemingly endless accumulation of waste?  What are the alternatives?  How does waste impact the aesthetics and perceptions of nature, society and culture?

Through photography, video, sculpture and performance installation, Doug Scholes' work is focused on the details that are woven into life - how and why are they cared for not.  His work has been exhibited at SAAG, MacLaren Art Center (ON), Track Gallery (AB), Verticale (QC), Sarling Foundry (QC), DARE-DARE (QC), CIRCA art actuel (QC), Joyce Yahouda Gallery (QC), and Stewart Hall Cultural Centre (QC).  He has held residencies at SPACE Studios in London, UK (Canada Council), La Maison Laurentine (France), Rad'Art (Italy), Imagination Station (Detroit), AdMare, Îles-de-la-Madeleine (QC), and the Banff Centre (AB).  Scholes' projects have received support from The Canada Council for the Arts and Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.  In 2001 he received a Maîtrise en arts visuels et médiatiques from l'Université du Québec à Montréal.  He currently is an administrative board member at the 3e Impérial, centre d'essai en art actuel, and one-fifth of the artists' collective Centre de recherche urbaine de Montréal (CRUM).

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