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Lyndl Hall: On Fixing Position

BAG Lyndl Hall 700x350

Lyndl Hall: On Fixing Position

June 1 – June 24
Reception: May 31, 7pm

Predicated as a conceptual drawing project, this work engages with latitude and longitude as invisible structuring lines, as well as the sextant, compass and sundial as interrelated tools that produce or engage with these lines and by which we orient ourselves; forming a base standard for perception of space, time and movement they become the means to conquer, control and subdue open spaces and the bodies within these spaces. Cartography, colonial exploration, the technologies of the enlightenment and the social ramifications of these tools inform this body of work.

The exhibition is structured around an installation of two intersecting low lying walls that traverse the gallery, one north to south and one east to west, they are intended to be literal lines of longitude and latitude and will be mapped out using a GPS and compass in order to align them with actual lines of longitude and latitude. These walls are about 4” wide, they reach wall-to-wall and be low enough in places for viewers to step over from one section into another. The intent is to carve up the architectural space of the gallery to create new areas, boundaries and experiences for bodies to move in. The Latitude line extends out through one of the doors or windows, cutting across the balcony it will travel across the garden -- the external line is mapped in chalk.

A second major component is an artist book that repositions the Prime Meridian at Vancouver rather than Greenwich. The book is a reproduction of an old Nautical Almanac listing coastal location and their corresponding latitude and longitude points. All longitudinal points have been shifted so that Vancouver is 0° 0’ 0”. As an extension of this book there will be an editioned poster repositioning the Gallery (in Burnaby) as the Prime Meridian. Alongside this are three small sculptures – a sextant, a sun dial and a compass, these will be highly formalized minimalist sculptures that align with the lines of latitude and longitude. Cartography and navigational instruments act as tools for colonization, being the means for organizing, cataloguing and subduing open spaces. I am interested in the role of the graphic line in relation to these technologies.

The last component (which is still in development) is a looping video, edited together from a variety of home video footage taken by my father of our family garden. The videos were taken in South Africa through the 80’s and into the early 90’s and show placid pastoral scenes of a cultivated garden. The political nature of the location and the time period are a sharp contrast to the calmness of the pastoral scene. “I am interested in how the cultivation of the garden is akin to the ordering and categorization of the navigational grids and act as a similar means for colonization,” notes the artist.

The Burnaby Art Gallery gratefully acknowledges the funding support provided by the City of Burnaby and the British Columbia Arts Council.