January 17 – April 7, 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 17 at 7 pm
At the intersection of visual art and social practice, the work of Lisa Hirmer explores how we recognize and represent environmental change at a moment when the Holocene, a geological era of climate stability rapidly gives way to a new human epoch, the Anthropocene, in which humans act as a planet-scale force. We are also the first generation to be aware of that impact – from mass extinctions of plant and animal species to dramatic atmospheric alterations manifest as climate change.
In Canada, shifting weather patterns have become a constant and the long months of snowfall once associated with winter have diminished. But this kind of loss is slow: change arriving with thick, dull edges. Given that weather and climate disruptions are difficult to recognize in the context of everyday life as they are systems that are already highly variable, it can be difficult to understand the altered reality these changes usher in. Juxtaposing the outcomes of Hirmer’s creative research with works she has selected from the Art Gallery of Guelph collection, We Are Weather examines how we move from simply observing to registering these losses and measuring their accumulating effects.
Lisa Hirmer is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice spans visual media, social practice, performance, research and occasionally writing. Her work is primarily concerned with collective relationships – that which exists between things rather than simply in them – in communities, publics and other assemblies of people, as well as in our relationships with the more-than-human world. Hirmer has shown her work across Canada and internationally including at Third Space (Saint John), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Doris McCarthy Gallery (Toronto), Art Gallery of Mississauga, Cambridge Galleries, Tasdance (Australia), Peninsula Arts (U.K.), Nuit Blanche (Toronto), CAFKA (Kitchener-Waterloo), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Flux Factory (USA) and Queens Museum (USA). She is currently based in Guelph.
Image: Lisa Hirmer, Watching, Dull Edges (the northern hemisphere of a 23°27′ tilt), 2017, photograph, 16 x 24″