Grand Theft Terra Firma

Opening Reception
Saturday April 13, 2019 - 2pm to 4pm

In Conversation: David Campion, Sandra Shields, Nicole Bauberger
Sunday April 14, 2019 - 2pm to 4pm

  • David Campion & Sandra Shields, Survey Party, 2016, inkjet print on vinyl, metal electrical conduit, aluminum
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  • David Campion & Sandra Shields, Survey Party, 2016, inkjet print on vinyl, metal electrical conduit, aluminum
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David Campion and Sandra Shields

Produced and circulated by The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford

Curated by Laura Schneider

Grand Theft Terra Firma tackles settler responsibility head-on. David Campion and Sandra Shields disrupt the celebratory mythology of nation building by reframing the settlement of Canada as a complex heist masterminded by criminals in London and played out on the ground by a gang of greedy thieves. Combining photography and installation, and developed in collaboration with many partners from Stó:lō community, Grand Theft blends popular culture with original source material to consider Canada’s colonial history within the particularities of local experiences in S’olh Temexw, now more commonly known as BC’s Fraser Valley.

The project employs an “unsettling” strategy to explore Canada’s difficult past and our inheritance of its injustices. Blending fictional characters with elements drawn from historical record, the artists create a space where audiences are asked to consider their own relationship to destructive colonial practices. The exhibition supports discussion around emergent notions of personal awareness and responsibility in the process of decolonization, underscoring the possibility for art to participate in the critical discourse on social reconciliation in divided societies.

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