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The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the M├ętis Nation. More

The New Miasma

Artwork Gallery

A photograph of a river alongside text from the transcript

Artist Statement

Artist Name: Francine Larsen

Title: Like a performance of paradox

Medium: Performance and accompanying text

Year: 2020

Artist Statement:

I wanted to create an experience that would allow for an internalization of the concepts addressed in this course, without alienating the viewer as traditional depictions of the Anthropocene often do. I made myself the viewer as the prototype of a designed experience. Coming to frightening terms with the Anthropocene and resisting the trappings of traditional anthropic visualizations, I attempted to find a modern-day wasteland. This experience was punctuated with images of pollution, death and vacancy. How else would a wasteland look?  
My experience reflected present-day horrors although they do not present as explicitly horrible or life threatening. I was strict not to focus on dystopian imagery, but instead on the very present local ecological ruin. At one point this river would have had an overwhelming amount of life: salmon, fauna and flora and a culture that thrived along the river. It is not a hell-like state or past its capacity for recovery—the river reveals declining ecosystems and pollution, but also historic traditions.