Paul Walde – Requiem for a Glacier
Exhibition: January 4 – February 8, 2014
Gallery hour: Wednesday to Saturday from 1-5pm
Opening: Friday, January 3 from 7-9pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, January 4 at 4pm
Requiem for a Glacier, a video and sound installation by Victoria artist/composer Paul Walde, will be exhibited at the Oxygen Art Centre from January 4th to February 8th. Local, independent curator Kiara Lynch, who led the coordination efforts for the project, is the guest curator at Oxygen Art Centre for this exhibition. This work was produced in part through a creative partnership between the artist and Oxygen Art Centre, The Langham Cultural Centre and volunteers from the Kootenay community!
The forty-minute video will be presented on a 27′ x 7′-6″ screen inside the gallery. It features two, site-specific performances of Requiem for a Glacier, performed this summer in the East Kootenays to the glacier audiences of Farnham and Commander Glaciers (two of the glaciers in an cluster of five glaciers which includes Jumbo). Documented by five video cameras and a sound engineer specializing in outdoor location sound, the project brought close to one hundred participants together in what would result as an experience of a lifetime. The volunteer chorus and orchestra from Nelson and the surrounding region were made up of amateur and professional musicians ranging in age from 12 to 84 years old. They were accompanied by Hungarian soloist, Veronika Hajdu and conducted by Ajtony Csaba, conductor for the Central European Chamber Orchestra and the University of Victoria Symphony Orchestra. Paul Walde composed the original, four-part score.
Requiem for a Glacier speaks to the issue of climate change, resulting in rapid and unprecedented glacial melt, as well as to the highly contentious issue of the BC Government’s approval of the Jumbo Glacier Alpine Resort. The video installation portrays both the stunning magnificence of the glacial landscape as well as a deep sense of foreboding and impending loss. This is represented both visually, through symbolic imagery applied in the video editing process as well as acoustically through the impressive musical composition itself. The audio recordings of the requiem were made during two public performances in Nelson last July as well as during the on-site performances in the alpine. The musical tracks have been overlaid with ambient sounds sourced at the glacier locations such as wind and trickling water/ melting ice.
The opening reception will be held on Friday, January 3rd from 7pm to 9pm at the Oxygen Art Centre – #320 Vernon Street (alley entrance). The artist talk will take place in the gallery on Saturday, January 4th at 4pm.
Oxygen Art Centre gratefully acknowledges the support of Columbia Basin Trust, British Columbia Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts and the Government of British Columbia. As well as the creative partnership with The Langham Cultural Centre and business sponsorship from PK Sound, Big Cranium and Business for the Arts, and the generous support from individuals within the community.
Articles and Press:
Canadian Art (online) – http://www.canadianart.ca/
Articulate Magazine- http://www.wkartscouncil.com/
CBC’s North by NorthWest – http://www.cbc.ca/nxnw/
The Nelson Star – http://www.nelsonstar.com/
Paul Walde is an intermedia artist, composer, and curator. Walde’s body of work suggests unexpected interconnections between landscape, identity, and technology. Recent exhibitions of his work include: The View from Up Here at the Anchorage Museum (2016), Nature’s Handmade at Museum London (2015) and All Together Now at the University of Toronto Art Centre (2014).
In 2013, he completed Requiem for a Glacier, a site-specific sound performance featuring a fifty-five-piece choir and orchestra live on the Farnham Glacier in the Purcell Mountains. Requiem for a Glacier was subsequently developed into a multichannel sound and video installation which has been the basis of solo exhibitions at L’ Université Laval Art Gallery in Quebec City, QC; Art Gallery at Evergreen, Coquitlam, BC; Oxygen Art Centre in Nelson, BC, (2014) and The Langham Cultural Centre in Kaslo, BC (2013).
Walde is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario (BFA) and New York University (MA). He is the winner of The Prescott Fund Award from the National Arts Club in New York City, and has recently received awards from the Canada Council for the Arts and the British Columbia Arts Council. In addition to his studio practice, Walde is an active lecturer, curator, teacher and writer and has attended residencies at Pouch Cove, Newfoundland and the Banff Centre for the Arts. From 2007 to 2010 he was the Artistic Director and Visual Arts curator of LOLA, the London Ontario Live Arts Festival during which time he presented projects by such international artists as Brian Eno (UK), blackhole factory (DE), Yoko Ono (US) and Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky (US). Often blurring the lines between producer and curator he has also presented the work of such Canadian artists as: Michael Snow, Kelly Mark, Dave Dyment, Gordon Monahan, and Michelle Gay.
In 2012 he relocated to Victoria, British Columbia, where he is Associate Professor of Visual Arts and Department Chair at the University of Victoria. Walde is a founding member of Audio Lodge, a Canadian sound art collective and EMU Experimental Music Unit a Victoria-based sound ensemble.