Passage investigates landscape as a single line walked between two undisclosed sites in Alberta's boreal forest. A path is a network carved out of the earth. These routes of travel form connections between places, but they also point toward layers of history and time. Traversals across landscapes mark points of orientation, decisions made at critical moments along a journey, and embody the implications of choices made and enacted. A path is not just a line drawn across the surface of the ground, it is also a cultural expression.
This work includes a series of three back-lit photographs and an accompanying sound piece. A single set of footsteps in the audio piece begin slowly and build to include several people walking heavily through the forest clearing depicted in the image. The weighted steps of the undisclosed figures grind the earth beneath their feet, and sink into the snow. Progressively, the narrative of footsteps grows until many people walk together. This culmination suggests both a harmony of effort and dissonant movement through the space.
The footsteps in the piece embody the route of travel several hundred internees walked each day during Canada's first internment operations in 1915. A relatively unknown part of Canada's history, several thousand Austro-Hungarian and Ukrainian -Canadian citizens were interned across the nation as a response to cold war fear of otherness -- a lesson for contemporary time. In Banff, Alberta, these new and generational citizens walked from an enclosed work camp in the mountains down this path to build a network of roads and passageways through the forest. This network of roadways laid the foundation for Canada's National Park system. Today, this path is part of a ski trail in Banff National Park.
This collection of back-lit photographs document a walk I took from the forgotten and overgrown site of the internment camp to the Cave and Basin historic monument in Banff National Park.
This sound piece accompanying this series of photographs is currently on display at the Arthur Ross Gallery in Philadelphia in tandem with Landscapes / Soundscapes. A link to the interactive kiosk in the gallery is found here: