Four Directions – Dana Claxton, Isabelle Hayeur, Werner Herzog and Val Klassen

Toronto Brickworks – September 26 to December 31, 2010

From September 26 to December 31, 2010, an environmentally themed video installation entitled Four Directions will be on show in celebration of the opening of Evergreen at the Brickworks in Toronto.

Through this exhibition, public art organization No. 9 Contemporary Art & the Environment – along with curator Andrea Carson – hope to demonstrate that contemporary art can stimulate positive social and environmental change. The group video exhibition features four powerful environmentally themed video artworks, each screened inside one of four restored drying kilns (long tunnels). The kilns are located at the north end of the Heritage Brick Factory, Building 16, a 52,000-square-foot space which is the largest building on site.

The works to be screened are Lessons of Darkness by legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog and three Canadian artists: L’or blanc/White Gold, a No. 9 commission by Isabelle Hayeur (Quebec), The Cyanide Flats: 50°54´15´´N / 95°20´20´´W, a No. 9 commission by Val Klassen (Manitoba), and Waterspeak by Dana Claxton (British Columbia).

The exhibition’s goal is to acknowledge man-made environmental destruction and to offer alternative ways of thinking about a healthy earth that suggest regrowth and healing. The exhibition will present a journey for the viewer from Herzog’s bleak documentation of Kuwait’s burning oil fields to Isabelle Hayeur’s curtain of softly falling salt crystals, followed by Val Klassen’s still signs of hope within a ravaged landscape, to Dana Claxton’s mesmerizing plea on behalf of water.

Without being overly didactic or preachy, together the three works will provide a response to Herzog’s Lessons of Darkness. As the viewer progresses through each tunnel, he/she will witness environmental devastation, followed by works that engage the emotions to suggest mindfulness, respect and honour for our environment.

For more information on No. 9 Contemporary Art & the Environment, please visit www.no9.ca/9.html. For more information on Evergreen at the Brickworks, please visit http://ebw.evergreen.ca.