Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
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.