A Secret Garden


A Secret Garden is a multimedia installation

 
DateFriday, November 7, 2014 - 12:00am to Saturday, November 29, 2014 - 9:15pm

Location

OCAD U Student Gallery

A Secret Garden is a multimedia installation that will probe the complex tension between the presumed anti-racist political consensus in Western liberal society, and the racist (sub)texts that persist in children’s films and literature. The work takes as its source Francis Hodgson Burnett’s children’s book The Secret Garden and the films that have been adapted from that text. It explores a two-fold ‘white-washing’ of Burnett’s source text: 1) the sterilizing of explicitly racist and colonialist elements from the text in the various film adaptations, and 2) the impact of the idyllic, colonially derived fantasy space of the novel on young readers.

The installation will function as a conversation between traditional art / craft and the digital vernacular of the Millennial shaped by the children's media of the ‘90s. The gallery space will function as the canvas of the exchange: flowers adorning the walls to emulate ornate 19th century wallpaper; furniture covered with hand-painted flowers, nostalgically evocative of a classical colonial living room meets a ‘90s family / media room.

Upon entering the gallery participants will encounter the clashing signifiers of the nostalgic domestic spaces that inform the original text, its film adaptation, and that of its young millennial viewers. Cliché objects of antiquated wealth will jostle with those of the sprawling post-internet late 20th century: colonial portraiture with gifs; Victorian flowers and statuary with data-moshed video works; hand-painted ‘brown’ Mary Lennox(s),with text-based juxtapositions of the text and film that expose both ideological shifts from the source text, and racist and sexist consistencies.



A Secret Garden
DateFriday, November 7, 2014 - 12:00am to Saturday, November 29, 2014 - 9:15pm

Website Location

OCAD U Student Gallery

Friday, November 7, 2014 - 12:00am to Saturday, November 29, 2014 - 9:15pm

A Secret Garden is a multimedia installation that will probe the complex tension between the presumed anti-racist political consensus in Western liberal society, and the racist (sub)texts that persist in children’s films and literature. The work takes as its source Francis Hodgson Burnett’s children’s book The Secret Garden and the films that have been adapted from that text. It explores a two-fold ‘white-washing’ of Burnett’s source text: 1) the sterilizing of explicitly racist and colonialist elements from the text in the various film adaptations, and 2) the impact of the idyllic, colonially derived fantasy space of the novel on young readers.

The installation will function as a conversation between traditional art / craft and the digital vernacular of the Millennial shaped by the children's media of the ‘90s. The gallery space will function as the canvas of the exchange: flowers adorning the walls to emulate ornate 19th century wallpaper; furniture covered with hand-painted flowers, nostalgically evocative of a classical colonial living room meets a ‘90s family / media room.

Upon entering the gallery participants will encounter the clashing signifiers of the nostalgic domestic spaces that inform the original text, its film adaptation, and that of its young millennial viewers. Cliché objects of antiquated wealth will jostle with those of the sprawling post-internet late 20th century: colonial portraiture with gifs; Victorian flowers and statuary with data-moshed video works; hand-painted ‘brown’ Mary Lennox(s),with text-based juxtapositions of the text and film that expose both ideological shifts from the source text, and racist and sexist consistencies.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD U Student Gallery
A Secret Garden
Ignite Imagination - The Campaign for OCAD U

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