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Civic Impact

Massive art intervention brings 30 works to Markham Museum

Some strange things will start happening in Markham on Saturday September 21st.
At 4 p.m. that day, a symphony of car horns, windshield wipers, doors, and ignitions will begin at the open-air Markham Museum. The concert, curated by Canadian artist Iain Baxter& (and a tribute to San Francisco art collective Ant Farm's 1976 CARmen opera), is one of over 30 site specific art installations that will make-up the three-week Markham based "art intervention" Land|Slide: Possible Futures.

Land|Slide, described by organizers as "a large-scale public art exhibition which responds to a world in transition where the past, present and future collide" will take over the Markham Museum from September 21 to October 14. 
Curated by the same team behind the much lauded 2009 Leona Drive Project (where artists "intervened" in six empty bungalows on Leona Drive in Willowdale), Land|Slide brings site-specific art outside of the downtown core and, in the process, ask artists and the public to engage with oft neglected landscapes and urban histories.
The Markham Museum--a 25-acre open-air site made up of 30 historic buildings--provides a particularly conducive environment for exploring the relationship between changing urban landscapes, diverse communities, and environmental sustainability, explains project lead and chief curator Janine Marchessault. 
"Branded as 'Canada's high-tech capital,' Markham epitomizes the 21st century edge city, being the most diverse municipality in one of the most agriculturally rich regions in the country," says Marchessault who is also the director of the Sensorium: Digital Arts and Technology Research Center at York University. "This ecology and history makes it the ideal location to spark a collective conversation around the history of the land, the people that dwell in it, and its possible futures."
Land|Slide features works across a wide-range of media, including film, sculpture and performance. Toronto artist David Han, for example, takes visitors on a fictional audio tour of the Markham museum buildings; while Julie Nagams--local artist and Professor at OCAD University--combines sound, projections and sculpture to "pay homage to the buried bodies in the Markham Ossuary."
The three-week exhibition also features panels, artists talks, and guided tours. Full list of event and installations here.
Writer: Katia Snukal
Source: Janine Marchessault, Project Lead and Chief Curator, Land|Slide: Possible Futures 

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