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Cul-de-sac

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A cul-de-sac is a road with one way out, or a dead end. The direct translation as “bottom of the sack” is a more nuanced cul-de-sac: the remnant shards, fractured from the shale in the sack, impart an opportunity. The particles at the bottom might be ground into another surface or combust into something completely new. 

Human effects on the land, including rampant urban development and carbon emissions, lack the tooth of change, relegating any sense of abatement into a corner. Perhaps a cul-de-sac dead end of its own making, questions arise about how value is measured, what relationship price has with making future, and—future for whom? 

The exhibition is a play between two cul-de-sacs: one as a dead end, the other revealing possibility. The works of Christoph Gielen and Isabelle Hayeur question our assumptions about growth, mounting a disconnect between urban habitat and our responsibility to the natural environment. What can be gleaned from the work of Douglas Cardinal is a way forward, a planning process based on Indigenous values of living in harmony with the environment and connected to a deeper universe. What future is created when design is obliged to consider seven generations forward? What opens up with models of matriarchal understanding? And, how might market-based and sustainable design practices learn from the tenants of natural law? 

Organized by the Art Gallery of Alberta. Curated by Amery Cavelli. Presented as a part of the Poole Centre of Design.

Curators

Amery Calvelli works to advance the public connection with architecture and design. She is a co-founder and Executive Director of the non-profit Design Talks Institute; co-editor of the online design publication FOLD; and teaches Design History at the University of Calgary’s Continuing Education Program. She hosted the CJSW radio program Space and Place for four years,interviewing international figures in design, architecture and people with stakes in the public realm. She has served on the Boards of the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art and the SFMOMA’s Contemporary Extension and has worked for designers such as Comme des Garçons, Giorgio Armani, and Agnès b.

Bios
Douglas Cardinal photo

Born in 1934 in Calgary, Alberta, his architectural studies at The University of British Columbia took him to Austin, Texas, where he achieved his architectural degree and found a life experience in human rights initiatives.  Douglas then became a forerunner of philosophies of sustainability, green buildings and ecologically designed community planning. His architecture springs from his observation of Nature and its understanding that everything works seamlessly together. 

In recognition of such work, Douglas Cardinal has received many national and international awards including: 20 Honorary Doctorates, Gold Medals of Architecture in Canada and Russia, and an award from United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural organization (UNESCO) for best sustainable village. He was also titled an Officer of the Order of Canada, one of the most prestigious awards given to a Canadian, and he was awarded the declaration of being “World Master of Contemporary Architecture” by the International Association of Architects. 

Douglas Cardinal is one of the visionaries of a new world; a world where beauty, balance and harmony thrive, where client, architect, and stakeholder build together with a common vision.

Christoph Gielen photo

German-born Christoph Gielen specializes in video and photographic aerial studies of urban development in relation to land use and preservation, exploring the intersection of art and environmental politics. He is the author of Ciphers(Jovis Verlag, 2013), nominated for the Deutscher Fotobuchpreis. Gielen’s primary use of photography is to engage the general public to become actively involved in the discourse on environmental sustainability and social equity. 

Shifting his focus to a more local practice of conservation, Gielen is now engaged with foundational soil health and fostering diversity of plant and animal species.

Isabelle Hayeur photo

As an image-based artist, Isabelle Hayeur is known for her photographs and her experimental videos. She has also realized several site-specific installations and public art commissions. Her work is situated within a critical approach to the environment, urban development and to social conditions. She is particularly interested in the feelings of alienation, uprooting and disenchantment. Since the late 1990s, she has been probing the territories she goes through to understand how our contemporary civilizations take over and fashion their environments.

Hours

Monday: closed
Tuesday: 11 am-5 pm
Wednesday: 11 am-5 pm
Thursday: 11 am-8 pm
Friday: 11 am-5 pm
Saturday: 11 am-5 pm
Sunday: 11 am-5 pm

Admission

Every Thursday 5-8 pm - FREE

AGA members
FREE
Youth 0-17
FREE
Alberta students 18+
FREE
Out-of-province students
$8.50
General admission
$12.50
Seniors 65+
$8.50

Location

2 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T5J 2C1

780.425.5379
info@youraga.ca

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