Dominion (The apprehension of beauty)

On the surface this new work “(Dominion…)” considers the historical ramification of industrial and post-industrial development, (railroad, car culture, tourism and commerce) on a particular landscape. At a deeper level this body explores the representation of landscape and the history of the complicity of art and the artist in the continuing colonization project of the Canadian landscape. It also explores related ideas of the commodification of nature.

This new body, so far consists of images gathered in the area around Banff and Lake Louise. Though I had probably whizzed through the area via the Trans-Canada a hundred times, I had never stopped at either site prior to a trip there in 2001. With this first visit to the area I became acutely aware of the irony inherent in the fact that the qualities that are used to draw people to these sites are inexorably degraded by the very infrastructure needed to service this influx. Subsequent visits have reinforced that impression. While the trails within a 15 to 20 minute radius of down town are generally almost deserted, the sidewalks and malls are thronged with a sea of humanity, shoppers at a 21st century outpost in the heart of the “wilderness”.
Ken Jeannotte 2007