Born in Ottawa in 1972. Lives and works in Vancouver.
Kevin Schmidt’s interdisciplinary work tries, tests and ultimately celebrates traditional notions of the sublime in the Canadian landscape. Through intervention, performance-for-camera, photography, video and installation he blurs boundaries of performance, document and product. Central to Schmidt’s output are performative expeditions and undertakings in which he pits man-made spectacle—often based on trappings of popular culture, mythology or religion—against Caspar David Friedrich–like visions of nature to play out a humorous, and often absurd, struggle for agency. Schmidt’s 2002 video Long Beach Led Zep brought him to international attention. In it, Schmidt enters the picturesque landscape of Long Beach, BC, starts a generator, dons a guitar, and plays a less than seamless rendition of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven; through the work’s duration, Schmidt vies for attention in direct opposition to his environment. Kevin Schmidt holds a BFA from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. He has shown extensively in Canada and abroad, including solo shows at Artspeak, Vancouver’s Contemporary Art Gallery, the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Presentation House Gallery, Mercer Union and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.
Photo of Kevin Schmidt testing a weather balloon for his Final Frontier project by Nancy Tousley.