Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street


David Hartt | Artist Talk

Thu, 26 Mar 2015 7:00 PM

Join us for an evening with David Hartt whose new film installation, adrift, will be on display at the Or Gallery from March 27 until May 9.


adrift is a new film installation by David Hartt at the Or Gallery. The artist talk is connected to this installation. 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 Abé’s Inter Ice Age 4. The main character Saini’s journey traces a territory of uncertainty: uncertain identities, economies and borders. It 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.

David Hartt | Bio

“Our understanding of ourselves is deeply rooted in the spaces we occupy.”

David Hartt was born in Montreal and currently lives and works in Chicago. In his installations, which include photographs, videos and sculptures, he explores how physical spaces reflect the ideas and beliefs of a particular time and place. By investigating the materials, symbols and histories that shape our surroundings, Hartt calls attention to the ways our built environments exist and evolve. After extensive research and site visits, he distils this material into complex and elegant installations.

About Or Gallery

The Or Gallery is an artist-run centre committed to exhibiting work by local, national, and international artists whose art practice is of a critical, conceptual and/or interdisciplinary nature. Since its inception in 1983 the gallery has acted as a space for research, proposition making, conceptual experimentation and documentation.



FREE, everyone welcome!


When: Thursday, March 26, 2015. 7:00 pm

Where: Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 W. Hastings St.

Additional Info: Co-presented by SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement, Or Gallery, SFU Galleries and Capture Photography Festival

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