NANCY DUFF | BORDERDOM
SATURDAY 09 SEPTEMBER 2006 – SATURDAY 21 OCTOBER 2006
OPENING RECEPTION | FRIDAY 08 SEPTEMBER 2006, 8:00PM – 10:00PM
Photo Credit: Peter MacCallum
BORDERDOM: EASE AND DIS-EASE ALONG A ‘POROUS’ BORDER
BORDERDOM is a word coined by the artist to represent the constant awareness of living next to the world’s super power. This double-edged reality is experienced asymmetrically, yet profoundly by the northern and southern neighbours of the U.S.; however, both neighbours perceive America’s projected anxieties without, perhaps, being seen to have differing points of view. Both Canada and Mexico are inundated by U.S. media, very conscious of the spin doctors at Fox.
Margaret Atwood likened the Canadian-U.S. border to a 5000-mile one-way mirror, while Mexicans contemplate the building of a continuous physical wall extending from the Pacific to the Atlantic. BORDERDOM reflects on this continental condition of our shared existence, to which we are inured.
Through aerial views of the North American body as seen along its international borders, together with references to the undocumented and unregulated movement of people, pathogens, elements of ‘criminality,’ and subversive ideas, BORDERDOM examines the veins and arteries of roadways and waterways that circulate the lifeblood of commerce and culture through the continental corpus. But is the body healthy? Are the bloodlines of North American life tainted with diseases like xenophobia, homophobia, cultural imperialism and conflicting interpretations of home and belonging?
These questions are filtered through a primarily Canadian perspective – if North America is the body, then Canada is its eyes and mind, the USA its beating heart, and Mexico its pumping legs. The eyes see, the mind considers, and the feet are swift – but what of the health of the hidden heart? Does the patriotic hand serve to strengthen the organ, or reinforce its isolation from the rest of the body? The so-called longest undefended border is examined with its NAFTA complement, as conflicted sites of cultural and economic inhabitation, influence, colonization, contamination and exchange.
NANCY DUFF is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of California, Irvine and of the BFA program at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Selected solo exhibitions include: Arcite in Windsor, ON, The Floating Gallery in Winnipeg, MB and Stride Gallery in Calgary, AB. Duff collaborated with Jennifer Sass, a Calgary writer and journalist, and Linda Corrigan on an academic paper that will be enacted as a performed conversation in relation to the work included in BORDERDOM and the issues examined. Duff currently resides in Vancouver, BC.
Nancy Duff would like to thank the British Columbia Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for their generous support towards the production of this work.