Rethinking water, the stuff of life, through art at Congress

Friday, May 16, 2014

Stuart Reid, director/curator, Rodman Hall Art Centre, Brock University

As hosts of Congress 2014, all of us at Brock have been busy preparing an engaging and thought-provoking “Congress Plus” program for both our out-of-town and local guests.

As part of this made-at-Brock academic and cultural line up, Rodman Hall Art Centre is pleased to present The Source: Rethinking Water Through Contemporary Art, which will debut during Congress at our University.  

Echoing the theme of this year’s gathering, “Borders Without Boundaries,” water, of course, defines the boundaries between nations and peoples. But, in the greater scheme of things, water also erases and wipes away those differences.

Water is the elemental source of life. It holds important cultural and spiritual significance for all peoples. Although access to fresh water is an essential human right, the resource has become a valuable global commodity.

Our era, marked by rapid climate change, destructive hydro-climactic weather events, loss of polar ice and rising sea levels, is witness to shifting shorelines, borders, migration patterns and lines of economic and cultural exchange.

By bringing together Canadian artists representing Aboriginal and settling cultures, both French- and English-speaking, alongside international artists, The Source contemplates water from a nationless, borderless perspective that is altogether more human.

The exhibition and associated symposium will build critical context around issues of water and will involve a broad cross-section of the community in Niagara.

The Source, in part, reunites the participants from Immersion Emergencies and Possible Worlds. This artist research group investigated water as culture and resource during two intensive residencies beginning in Niagara in May 2012, and concluding at a two-week residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts in May 2013. 

We look forward to welcoming you to Brock in just one week’s time, and to continuing this critical dialogue about water, the stuff of life.

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The Source: Rethinking Water Through Contemporary Art
Curated by Stuart Reid
Featuring works by Nadine Bariteau, Raymond Boisjoly, Elizabeth Chitty, Soheila Esfahani, Gautam Garoo, Patrick Mahon, Colin Miner, Lucy + Jorge Orta, Gu Xiong
May 23 to Sept. 28, 2014
Opening reception: Thursday, May 22 at 7 p.m.
Rodman Hall Art Centre, Brock University, 109 St. Paul Cres., St. Catharines, Ont.