Art Gallery of Alberta

ADAM WALDRON-BLAIN: does his best
June 29-August 18, 2013


image credits [click to view]


Adam Waldron-Blain. Image: Courtesy of the artist.



“Feelings/ Feelings like I’ve lost you/ And feelings like I’ve never have you/ Again in my life./ Feelings/ Wo-o-o feelings/ Wo-o-o feelings/ Again in my heart.” - Louis Gasté and Morris Albert, Feelings, 1974

Adam Waldron-Blain’s practice exists in a space between overwhelming sentimentality and the clinical dissection of the role of the contemporary artist, the art object and—ultimately—heartbreak. Using durational performances, video and text, Waldron-Blain takes his broken heart and sends it up as the object of his art practice. While some may sing a sad song à la Adele, Waldron-Blain stretches it to an absurd end; his is an exhaustingly long operation that points to the packaging of feelings and the hyperbolic emptiness and simultaneous sincerity of sad pop songs. As he places the personal into the public realm, Waldron-Blain draws our attention to the inadequacy of the language of love.

When he started his performances, Waldron-Blain had not seriously played the violin since he was young; his rustiness is evident in the resulting video documentation. Over time he has become a better violinist. His professionalism as a musician has become intertwined with, and at times opposed to, his professionalism as an artist. Of late Waldron-Blain’s durational performances have been staged in gallery and studio settings with a scarcity of other objects: another artist’s post-post-minimalist painting or some booze for visitors. Here, Waldron-Blain positions the artist as a host, as a performer of the avant-garde, and as a sad sack. All that being said – he wants you to know that he is doing his best.

Over the course of this exhibition in the RBC New Works Gallery, Adam Waldron-Blain will undertake a series of durational performances. These will be accompanied by videos and a text-based installation.


The RBC New Works Gallery features new artworks by Alberta artists. Initiated in 1998 and named the RBC New Works Gallery in 2008, this gallery space continues the Art Gallery of Alberta’s tradition of supporting Alberta artists.

View Alberta Primetime’s interview with Adam Waldron-Blain and curator Ruth Burns here>