CURRENT ISSUE | FALL 2017: THE IDEA OF HISTORY
Current Issue Cover

Your page could not be found.Let us help you search for it:

SEARCH
Page Not Found - Canadian Art
CURRENT ISSUE | FALL 2017: THE IDEA OF HISTORY
Current Issue Cover

Your page could not be found.Let us help you search for it:

SEARCH

Canadian Art

See It

Scott Rogers: Perpetual Returns

ODD Gallery, Dawson City Jun 21 to Jul 21 2012
Scott Rogers <em>Drinking Buddy Emulator (Carving Camouflage)</em> 2012 Installation view Scott Rogers Drinking Buddy Emulator (Carving Camouflage) 2012 Installation view

Scott Rogers <em>Drinking Buddy Emulator (Carving Camouflage)</em> 2012 Installation view

If a pantheon of Northern eccentrics exists, then the Moravian-born, Dawson City locksmith Jan Welzl (1868–1948) must rank among the foremost. Variously described as a “traveller, adventurer, hunter, gold-digger, Eskimo chief and Chief Justice in New Siberia,” Welzl is said to have lived in a cave for more than 30 years. Recently an asteroid was named after him. His life story is the stuff of non-conformist legend.

Welzl is best known as the raconteur author of Thirty Years in the Golden North (a best-selling Book-of-the-Month-Club title in 1932) that detailed his travels across the far north in fantastic (and controversial) fashion, with tales of natives worshiping giant monkey idols and holding boxing matches in their kayaks. He died a pauper and his final project—a sprawling perpetual-motion machine cobbled together from scavenged Dawson City junk—was left unfinished.

This summer the currently Glasgow-based artist Scott Rogers brings Welzl’s legacy back to life with “Meanders Into Nonesuch Place,” an installation of sculptures, drawings and videos at ODD Gallery as well as performances in and around Dawson City. In one corner of the gallery Rogers assembles a Rube Goldberg–like device built from found wood. Titled Drinking Buddy Emulator (Carving Camouflage), the kinetic construction promises to initiate a chain reaction that culminates with the clink of a beer mug and a faux antique Czech beer bottle in what Rogers calls “an absurdly automated toast.” Against a gallery wall leans a round, wooden tabletop carved with the lyrics of a sea shanty that Rogers wrote in dedication to Welzl. Meant to be sung ad infinitum (the verses circle around the chorus), a rubbing of the tabletop shanty hangs on another gallery wall. Pinned to the gallery floor by Yukon River rocks and pocket change are traced drawings of other perpetual motion machines and samples of contraption designs by the British cartoonist Heath Robinson.

Two videos tie in with Rogers’ performances. In one, he’s seen making a pilgrimage of sorts, temporarily placing a rough-hewn wooden statue outside of what could have been Welzl’s former cabin. The statue sits within view in the gallery. Rogers plans, he writes in an email, to continue to carve it for the duration of his life. In the second video, Rogers tests the waterproofing of a wooden box that he later cast into the Yukon River. Inside is a copy of Welzl’s Thirty Years in the Golden North—heading full circle, perhaps, to Siberia where the book’s narrative began.

This article was first published online on July 19, 2012.

RELATED STORIES

  • The Natural & The Manufactured: Gold Standard

    Dawson City’s ODD Gallery takes a critical look at the relationship between contemporary art and commodity culture in the latest iteration of its annual residency and exhibition series, “The Natural & the Manufactured.” Drawing on the city’s gold rush past, artists Bill Burns and Steve Badgett and Deborah Stratman put a creative spin on economic speculation.

  • Glasgow Report: Should We Stay or Should We Go?

    A big question for many MFA students wrapping up the first year of their programs is whether they should continue on for the second year. Here, Scott Rogers, a Calgary transplant at the Glasgow School of Art, reflects on the issue and delivers highlights of his spring term.

  • Calgary Report: An Artist-Run Alberta

    Calgary likes to brand itself as a place for mavericks, an identity that’s taken an unexpected creative turn as artist-run spaces pop up across the city. Critic Nancy Tousley reports on these fresh, youthful initiatives.

Page Not Found - Canadian Art
CURRENT ISSUE | FALL 2017: THE IDEA OF HISTORY
Current Issue Cover

Your page could not be found.Let us help you search for it:

SEARCH
Page Not Found - Canadian Art
CURRENT ISSUE | FALL 2017: THE IDEA OF HISTORY
Current Issue Cover

Your page could not be found.Let us help you search for it:

SEARCH
 

FOUNDATION NEWS

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

ONLINE

  • Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller: Black Birds

    New York critic Joseph R. Wolin heads to the Park Avenue Armory where Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller are creating a buzz (and other sounds) at the US premiere of a dark, nightmarish installation originally created for the 2008 Biennale of Sydney.

  • Grange Prize 2012: Hot Shots

    One of Canada’s largest cash-value art prizes—$65,000 in total with $50,000 going to the winner, $5,000 to three runners-up—announced its finalists this week. Take in their wide-ranging works in this slideshow.

  • Wanda Koop: Into the Woods

    A visit to Wanda Koop’s cabin near Riding Mountain National Park in southern Manitoba proves intriguing for Vancouver critic Robin Laurence. There, Laurence writes, Koop bridges old Grey Owl myths with a new series of paintings on our increasingly digital culture.

  • Brad Tinmouth: Survival Strategies

    The basement of an art gallery may seem an unlikely place to create an emergency shelter. However, Xpace's lower gallery is an ideal setting for Brad Tinmouth's “If Times Get Tough or Even If They Don't,” which evokes a cold-war bunker.

  • Wim Delvoye: Blame it on Paris

    Silk-covered pigs, lattice-cut car tires and a tattooed man are just a few of the works that Belgian artist Wim Delvoye has shuttled into the old, Gothic wing of the Louvre this summer. Jill Glessing reviews, finding a terrific amalgam of high and low.

More Online

Page Not Found - Canadian Art
CURRENT ISSUE | FALL 2017: THE IDEA OF HISTORY
Current Issue Cover

Your page could not be found.Let us help you search for it:

SEARCH
Page Not Found - Canadian Art
CURRENT ISSUE | FALL 2017: THE IDEA OF HISTORY
Current Issue Cover

Your page could not be found.Let us help you search for it:

SEARCH
Page Not Found - Canadian Art
CURRENT ISSUE | FALL 2017: THE IDEA OF HISTORY
Current Issue Cover

Your page could not be found.Let us help you search for it:

SEARCH
Report a problem