Tug

October 17 to November 6, 2022

Location: Art Space Connect Gallery

Presented by: John Notten

Reception: Sunday, October 23, 2022, 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm

In this kinetic sculpture installation, an absurd scene plays out as four boats desperately attempt to row outward in opposite directions. Oars endlessly rise and fall as each pulls earnestly on a tree which is at the centre of this tug of war.  These vessels, despite their best attempts, get nowhere.  

Suggestive of miniature arks, each boat is illuminated from within revealing the dancing cast shadows of four narratives. A study in frustration, ‘Tug’ presents an exploration on the ways in which the landscape continues to be commodified, sapped of its physical properties through a historical legacy of excessive extraction as much as its ideological ones. And yet the failure of each boat to widen the gap and the absurdity of the land-locked nature of this odd nautical voyage draw attention to the senseless futility of the endeavour. Through it all, the central tree, a stoic and unmovable anchor,  remains stubbornly defiant.

John Notten, Tug