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Jennifer Wanner | Second Nature
February 24 – June 2, 2017
Helen Christou Gallery | LINC | Level 9
Artist: Jennifer Warner
Curator: Josephine Mills
Wanner explores western concepts of nature through collage and stop-motion animated video.
My art practice examines botanical art and nature cinema in a world dominated by “second nature” – a virtual simulation of pristine “first nature” wrought by the revolution in information, biotechnologies, and consumer culture. I employ watercolour painting, collage, and stop-motion animation to explore how both art historical constructs and scientific objective means of observing the natural world have shaped our western concept of nature. My work attempts to operate between two Romantic realms: fascination with mastery over natural processes and unease with what our technology might unleash.
My recent series of collages is entitled Periculum, which in Latin means: trial; proof; danger; peril; risk; liability. I have downloaded images from the Internet database of the most endangered and threatened plants throughout Canada, according to federal, provincial, and territorial governments. My “field work” has been conducted in the virtual realm of the Internet – a domain where “virtuality destroys reality”. I then printed the botanical images onto high-quality ink-jet paper and carefully cut away each plant from their original context to reconfigure them into a new modified plant form. An individual collage has been generated for each of the thirteen Canadian provinces and territories. A fourteenth collage represents all of Canada and contains a plant species from each of the provinces and territories that is at risk. The development of the Periculum series is supported by a “Visual Arts and New Media Project Grant” from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
We are constantly driven to develop technologies and organizational systems that attempt to counteract the negative effects we have already inflicted upon the natural world. With my proposition to “genetically collage” all of the provincial and territorial plant “species at risk” together into one specimen we would only have to concern ourselves with protecting one plant species rather than a diverse range of them – a system of efficiency. These botanical collage images act as another futile and preposterous proposal to help restore and protect what we are on the verge of destroying.
– Jennifer Wanner
About Jennifer Wanner
Jennifer Wanner is a Canadian multidisciplinary artist based in Calgary, Alberta, who holds a BFA in Drama from the University of Calgary (1995), a BFA with distinction in Visual Arts from the Alberta College of Art and Design (1999), and an MFA from The University of Western Ontario (2009). She has been awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Scholarship (SSHRC) in 2008, a Visual Arts and New Media Project Grant from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts in 2014 and 2016, and a Calgary Arts Development Artist Opportunity Grant in 2016. Wanner’s work is included in the permanent collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and private collections.
Wanner has exhibited her work in Poland and throughout Canada. Recent solo exhibitions include Immuto at the Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan and Florilegium: Jennifer Wanner at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta. Wanner’s stop-motion animation Herbacentrice was exhibited in the 2013 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Alberta and the OZON 2nd International Video Art Festival in Katowice, Poland. In 2014 her work was included in the Glenbow Museum’s exhibition Made in Calgary: The 2000s. Jennifer Wanner’s work is currently represented by the Paul Kuhn Gallery.
Image: Jennifer Wanner, Periculum – Canada, 2015, 38.75”x24.5”, hand cut ink jet paper collage on Stonehenge paper.