In this project, fossilized shells perch, sphinx-like, on individual vapour spouts of ultrasonic humidifiers. Cool mist caresses the form of each fossil as if to disperse ancient mineral particles of the once-living form into, and beyond, the exhibition space. A new atmosphere is generated in which these particles appear to be inhaled and carried away by the viewer. The constant, gentle hum of the machines is accompanied by the smell of damp, prehistoric earth.
Given time, one may witness the fossils slowly disappearing, as if exhaling themselves—or like the complex mechanics of a larger clock, counting down to the eventual disappearance of even the most stubborn of vestiges.
Jason de Haan, born in 1981, is a multidisciplinary Canadian artist based in Calgary. He received an MFA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY in 2015. Recent solo exhibitions include the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax (2014); Clint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto (2014); Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (2014); Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge (2012) and Museo de la Ciudad, Querétaro (2012). Group exhibitions include Scrap Metal, Toronto (2014); Bond House Projects, London (2013); Oakville Galleries (2012); Nuit Blanche Toronto (2011); MOLAF, Bergen (2011); Art Gallery of Alberta (2010) and Galleri Kling & Bang, Reykjavik (2009). Upcoming exhibitions include de Fabriek, Eindhoven and MASS MoCA, North Adams (2016). In 2012 de Haan was shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award, representing the Prairies and the North. His work has been reviewed in Canadian Art Magazine, Art in America and Art Forum. He is represented by Clint Roenisch Gallery.