DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art is delighted to announce its very first production grant to New York based Canadian artist Nancy Davenport. The grant helps Nancy to complete a project titled Workers for the 2007 Istanbul Biennial. DHC/ART is committed to initiating and supporting the production of new work by Canadian artists in a variety of media through an annual commission or grant.
Workers is an ambitious media installation which laterally tackles the representation of labour and issues arising from globalisation by connecting Norwegian workers to their out-sourced Chinese counterparts in a seamless, multi-screen DVD environment. At the centre of this merged, moving frieze of animated portraits of both sets of workers is an image of a factory – itself subjected to digital enhancements where workers gather at the gates or rocket into outer space referencing film pioneers the Lumière brothers and Georges Méliès. Davenport’s hauntingly beautiful work offers a wry critique of architecture and other social spaces. She fictionalises documentary modes and engages the history of performance art and film while exploring how digital culture has cast a veil of suspicion over the authority of the photographic document. In September 2001, a week before the events of 9/11, her exhibition the apartments opened at Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery in New York. The large-scale, digitally collaged images stage incidents of terrorist attacks and other forms of political protest on modernist apartment facades. Davenport later exhibited campus, a series of photographs depicting “Brutalist”, melancholy university campuses infused with both the idealism of the enlightenment and the disenchantment of failed revolt. Set at the entrance of a university, Week-end Campus, a video loop composed of hundreds of still photographs taken by the artist, is a slow pan over the cataclysm of stalled cars, accidents and impassive witnesses, paying witty homage to Godard’s much-acclaimed tracking shot in Weekend.
Image from Workers Gene
c. Nancy Davenport, 2007