Northern Exposure (4 Channel Installation)

Lisa Birke

2011, 13:10 minutes, colour

TAPECODE 1051.00

Why go to India, Canada Shame Stance, Disappearing Act, and Mind over Matter Seasonal Training make up the artist’s very first collection of video works collectively entitled Northern Exposure. They were filmed at the Ted Harrison Artists' Retreat Society Residency at Crag Lake in the Yukon, January through February in 2011.

Northern Exposure documents the tragi-comic drive to engage in fanatical ritual in the “Wild” in order to reach a state of transcendence. The work stems from a fascination with the current trend of Yoga and other mind/body nature retreats that see countless urbanites stretching their limbs towards spiritual meaning and equilibrium. In the Yukon a similar obsession—with experiencing physical wholeness—is witnessed in the conquering of the extreme environment. Competitors flock here from around the world to participate in the Quest, the Arctic Games and other races that test the limits of human endurance. These videos are the culmination of these objectives. However, seamlessly looping and thus seemingly endless, the actions appear contrived and ridiculous. Or, do they in some way realize their purport?

Why go to India, (excerpt) 6min 19sec,
digital video, 2011.
Canada Shame Stance, (excerpt) 2min 6sec,
digital video, 2011.
Disappearing Act, (excerpt) 1min,
digital video, 2011.
Mind over Matter Seasonal Training, (edited selection) 3min 45sec,
digital video, 2011.

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