David Hartt: adrift. Installation View, Or Gallery, 2015. Photo: Or Gallery. 

Talk: David Hartt on Adrift

Thursday, March 26, 2015, 7pm
Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre
149 West Hastings St. 

The Or Gallery is pleased to present adrift, a new film installation by David Hartt. The film is a work of speculative fiction set 50 or so years in the future, wherein the entire population of the island nation of Tuvalu has been displaced due to global warming and resulting rising water levels. The Tuvalese have relocated to a high-density Soleriesque arcology, commissioned and built on the banks of the Mississippi river. The story draws influence from both Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn and Kobo AbĂ©'s Inter Ice Age 4. The main character Saini's journey traces a territory of uncertainty: uncertain identities, economies and borders. The film considers the impossibility of someone living in our present to understand the moral and cultural conditions of someone from the distant future.

The footage was shot in Tuvalu, which appears in the film as the Mississippi river settlement and quarantine zone. Bertrand Goldberg's River City complex in Chicago appears as the Tuvalese arcology, and models from the Goldberg Archive, of unbuilt phases of the River City complex, appear as the exteriors of the Tuvalese arcology.

Hartt's work to date has addressed the relationship between ideology and the built environment. adrift addresses what happens to an ideology when the environment that informs it disappears. Specifically, Hartt is interested in the changing concept of sovereignty in the 21st century; both virtual and physical.

adrift was commissioned by the Or Gallery and Threewalls (Chicago) as part of the Slow Frequency Series curated by Shannon Stratton, Jonathan Middleton, and Dan Devening. Slow Frequency addresses currents in artwork that engage a process of slow looking, magnification or tuning-in in order to locate the place where a thing becomes visually or sonically clearest. Whether manifest in photography, film, appropriation strategies or other forms of image or object making, the process of tuning in to a space, an ideology, or a transmission is presented as a practice or gesture of careful observation. The series is collaboratively produced by Threewalls , Or Gallery and Devening Projects+Editions (Chicago). This exhibition is also produced in partnership with the Capture Photography Festival and SFU Galleries.

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