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Burning Room / Duncan Ferguson

Friday, June 5, 2015 to Friday, July 24, 2015

Opening Reception: Friday, June 5th, 7:00- 10:00 PM

Forest City Gallery is pleased to present Burning Room, an exhibition by Duncan Ferguson (London, ON).

About the exhibition:

“All things pass away and become a mere tale, and complete oblivion soon buries them” – Marcus Aurelius Meditations

Burning Room is tribute to life guiding wisdom. It is a collection of objects that have been marked by exposure to the elements, and thus like everything else are reminders of the constant indiscriminate erosion of time.

It was with this in mind that Marcus Aurelius, recognizing his own temporality, recorded his Meditations. They were an ongoing collection of thoughts and advice drawing from his experiences, and those of his peers. Nearly two thousand years later it is surprising how relevant his subjects are. He covers habits, ambitions and relations to others. These meditations have been criticized for being conflicting and simplistic, rendering his argument more convincing. At times the writing can resemble the “Thought terminating cliché”, which effectively takes far reaching and complex human problems and compresses them into brief, highly reductive, definitive sounding phrases that are easy to express. These become the start and finish of any ideological analysis.

We are surrounded with these sayings, “god works in mysterious ways”, “it is what it is” or “things happen for a reason” which serve to simplify and misdirect. They take any given complex scenario and over simplify it, rendering a given outcome legitimate without providing an argument. Burning Room emulates Marcus Aurelius; using the authority of our sun, a burning ray is bent by the artist to scorch these inane images of happiness, and fulfillment. They are crude drawings of the tropes of tranquil places, or symbols of some unreachable ideal. The drawings’ inept executions are indicative of their emptiness in use as visual clichés, much like their verbal counterparts. White Candles populate the spaces in between, degrading independent of the messages that contain them. In their traditional use these candles provided light to darkness and a measurement of time in the absence of the sun; these candles melt as belittling reminders that nothing is impervious to eternity.

About the artist:

Duncan Ferguson is a nomadic artist born in London Ontario with a BFA from NSCAD University. Building on a foundation of painting and drawing, Ferguson is exploring an interdisciplinary practice based on notions of perception and reality through installation, sculptural and two dimensional works.

His interest lies primarily in the idea that two individuals can share an experience, and yet have starkly different and valid perceptions of that event. This interest springs from how meaning is interpreted through experience, and observing how this plays out in the lives of others. His work has been included in group and solo exhibitions, most recently, AMaR at Angell Gallery (2013), the Y-level emerging artist exhibition, And All Sat Mute (2013), at Eyelevel Gallery (NS).


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