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David Curtis

“Chapter 9”

of the series “Search Though We Might, We May Never See Beyond the Horizons of Our Imagination”

As part of his ongoing film and mixed media installation project “Search Though We Might, We May Never See Beyond the Horizons of Our Imagination” David created a new black and white silent film from footage shot at the Quigley Landfill. The film was projected alongside sculptures created in tandem with the film. These sculptures were diorama scale models of fictitious proposals for monuments to the Quigley Landfill and the role it plays in the socio-economic and cultural aspects of Dawson City.
Formally and structurally the film explores the aesthetic values of the landfill and pay poetic homage to the complex ideological and existential dilemmas it represents. When faced with the material excess and wastage of our consumption, and its impact on our beloved “Wild Yukon”, we often turn away from the abhorrent reality and hide our waste out of sight and therefore out of mind. The film examines this phenomena through footage focused exclusively on the extremes of beauty and revulsion to be found at the landfill. As with the other chapters in the series, no images of humans are included in the film.
The sculptures were made primarily from materials salvaged from the landfill along with a few new materials.
What David loves about the Quigley Landfill, and hopes to honour through this work, is the role it plays as public spectacle (he often takes visitors there as part of his “Sights of the Klondike” tour), unintentional site of education about waste and waste management, and incredible source for creative recycling/ up cycling. As a new chapter, this installation builds and expand upon the overarching theme of the series that deals with the often unseen intimate relationships we have with our environment on a day-to-day basis.

About the Artist

David Curtis is an off grid dwelling filmmaker, commercial fisher, carpenter and artist who has the honour of living within the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Traditional Territories, in Dawson City, Yukon.
David’s art focuses on interweaving the poetic and associative possibilities of projected image, sound and sculpture to explore themes and issues relevant to the philosophical and ideological/ political realms of environmentalism. His installations and films are foregrounded in open-ended processes that depend upon the viewer’s experiences, memories and knowledge to complete the work. In all aspects of his life he nurtures a close relationship to nature, kairos and laughter.