Artwork of the Week for Sept 21, 2009


Ian Wallace
Clayoquot Protest, 1993

The Clayoquot Sound is the largest unlogged temperate rainforest remaining on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island. In 1993, the BC government passed The Clayoquot Land Use Decision, which effectively allowed MacMillan Bloedel to log the the old growth forest on the sound. In April 1993, 12,000 protesters peacefully gathered to prevent MacBlo workers from beginning the clear-cutting process.

Wallace’s photographs of the protests go beyond mere a documentation of the largest act of civil disobedience in Canada’s history. Composed of 3 mural-sized prints, the photos allude to the western tradition of history painting while challenging the myth of objectivity that surrounds photography. Areas of the image are removed and blacked out, thus each supposedly documenting photograph is in fact incomplete. As a result, Wallace’s panoramic scene is a composite of three doctored photographs.


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