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Wanda Koop: On the Edge of Experience

For nearly three decades, Wanda Koop has used painting to critique technology and its impact on nature. Appropriately, these themes weave through her travelling survey that debuted earlier this fall in Winnipeg and which presents large-scale paintings from 1983 to the present. Some works, like Koop’s boldly hued, minimal landscapes and intense masked portraits, might already be familiar to viewers, seeing as how they have been exhibited to acclaim across Canada. More unexpected elements are also present, however. These include a recreation of Koop’s studio environment and some of the artist’s recent forays into video, culminating in the presentation of an entirely new work, Hybrid Human. Created in collaboration with performer/choreographer Jolene Bailie, Hybrid combines painting, video projection and contemporary dance, as well as a sound piece by Susan Chafe and lighting by Hugh Conacher. Overall, the piece is intended to investigate “artificial intelligence, robotics, and the human body’s integration and understanding of this mediated way of experiencing the world.” None of these foci are necessarily new for the forward-thinking Koop, but this multifaceted exploration of them is, and it will likely generate an even broader appreciation of her work as the survey travels to the National Gallery of Canada in the spring and well beyond in future. (300 Memorial Blvd, Winnipeg MB)

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