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Scott McFarland
Sans Souci

August 11 to September 10, 2011

The Monte Clark Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by Scott McFarland.

Sans Souci (“without care” or “without worries”), a small island located on Georgian Bay, is the subject and title of McFarland’s most recent photographic series. Explored and subsequently named by Samuel de Champlain in 1615 – 1616 and later made famous in Canadian art by the Group of Seven, Sans Souci remains one of the most desirable locations in Georgian Bay.

Central to the exhibition are two large landscapes that depict the marina and its everyday activity. Both images incorporate similar foregrounds at different times of the summer season. Each image is unique within the edition as they depict different and dramatic skies. This concept of multiple variations within an edition was developed in McFarland’s previous Hampstead series, and was first used in his study entitled Ruinenberg, Near Schloss Sanssouci, Potsdam (2006). Ruinenberg depicts a faux ruin near the summer palace gardens of Frederick the Great, aptly named Sanssouci by Voltaire during his visit to the site.

Accompanying these two large works (his largest photographs produced to date) is a set of smaller photographs shot solely with a pinhole camera and printed as inkjet prints. These works capture scenes of discarded leisure vehicles and other detritus that litter the island, employing a visual technology equivalent to that of early explorers: the camera obscura. In this format, the current state of Sans Souci is reflected to the viewer as if through the gaze of the past, alluding to the entropic processes imposed by time.

McFarland’s other current exhibitions include The Digital Eye: Photographic Art in the Electronic Age at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, and Our Origins at MoCP, Chicago. His photographs are included in a number of public collections, including MoMA, New York, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and were recently acquired by the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.