“Timeland” speaks to a geography of the past and the future, the old and new. As a theme for the 2010 edition of the Alberta Biennial, curated by Canadian Art Editor and independent curator Richard Rhodes, it is also a conceptual guide for an exhibition that blends both emerging and established generations of artists to create a snapshot of the vitality of the contemporary Alberta art scene.
Reflecting the diversity of the Alberta landscape, where space can be measured in geological, durational and cultural timeframes, the exhibition presents twenty-five artists working across the spectrum of contemporary art making modes from painting and sculpture, to installation, video and performance. Presented in the new Art Gallery of Alberta, it marks the beginning of both a new decade and new possibilities for contemporary art in Alberta. Its cross-generational mix of artists is a statement that underscores the commitment and continuity of art making, which is an ecology without time limits where the new intersects with the established on a sustained creative basis.
The theme "Timeland" also engages the heightened sensitivity to time that has shaped the first years of the 21st century, a period where the achievements and securities of established modernism are challenged by the new globalism that, via information technologies offers access to an expanded consciousness of world views, histories and cultures. The scale of this globalism subsumes the idea of the local but it thrive as the lifeblood in a world where provincialism dissipates and a new information-fed internationalism reflect the complexity a multi-dimensional world culture.
“Timeland” mirrors this multi-dimensionality. It bridges Alberta communities by highlighting the shared achievements of their art and presumes the art’s continuity with developments in contemporary art elsewhere, both in Canada and abroad. Contemporary art is made in recognition of the realities of the 21st-century one-world planet, realities made pressing by the shared facts of climate change and the congestive effects of economic development. Made by emerging artists and established ones, the art is alive to its times and ever-alert to the need for imagination.
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