March 30, 2017 - Canadian Cultural Centre - Dianne Bos: The Sleeping Green. No man’s land 100 years later
March 30, 2017

Canadian Cultural Centre

Dianne Bos, Frezenberg Ridge, near the Princess Patricia's Light Infantry Memorial, Belgium, 2014.

Dianne Bos
The Sleeping Green. No man’s land 100 years later
April 3–September 8, 2017

Opening and book launch: April 1, in the presence of the artist and the curator Josephine Mills
Exceptional opening: May 20, 7pm, lecture by Professor Harry Vandervlist on the war poetry of Canadian soldiers

Canadian Cultural Centre
5 rue de Constantine
75007 Paris
France
Hours: Monday–Friday 10am–6pm

T +33 1 44 43 21 73
F +33 1 44 43 21 99

www.canada-culture.org
Facebook / Twitter / YouTube

Dianne Bos
The Sleeping Green. No man’s land 100 years later
April 3–September 8, 2017

Opening and book launch: April 1, in the presence of the artist and the curator Josephine Mills
Exceptional opening: May 20, 7pm, lecture by Professor Harry Vandervlist on the war poetry of Canadian soldiers

Canadian Cultural Centre
5 rue de Constantine
75007 Paris
France
Hours: Monday–Friday 10am–6pm

T +33 1 44 43 21 73
F +33 1 44 43 21 99

www.canada-culture.org
Facebook / Twitter / YouTube

Dianne Bos uses a line from British poet and soldier Isaac Rosenberg’s famous WWI poem "Break of Day in the Trenches" for the title of this exhibition. The Sleeping Green. No man’s land 100 years later consists of extraordinary photographs taken in "no-man’s land" between the trenches on the Western Front. Accompanying the commemoration of the Centenary of the Battle of Arras and the Capture of Vimy Ridge, the exhibition wants to add a crucial poetic voice to the discourses on the Great War. 

Between 2014 and 2016, Dianne Bos travelled through the battle sites in France and Belgium where Canadian soldiers fought. She used a variety of vintage and pinhole cameras, including a 100 year-old camera, to photograph the land a century after the Great War. On returning home to Canada, Bos further worked with the images in the darkroom by incorporating objects from the battle sites—such as rocks, leaves, and a bullet—during the analog printing process. By scattering these over the paper during printing, as well as dodging, burning, and overlaying maps of stars, she produces layers of imagery that convey the emotional depth of these extraordinary landscapes.

The Sleeping Green refers to the war indirectly and includes the viewpoints—real and imaginary—of the people who experienced the event and of those who are moved by that experience today.

“To stand in the same spot on earth where barely imaginable suffering took place, 100 years earlier; does it bring any understanding? Can the imagination feel itself touched by echoes in the shapes of the land, the movement of clouds, the angle of light? To scoop a handful of that dirt or stretch out on that ground—do these things prompt a communication, a connection? These fields have all been ploughed for 100 seasons. Yet vestiges still surface. By selecting and arranging some such vestiges, some impressions, is it possible to receive something from the past, or re-create something in the present? Perhaps all that gets renewed is the sense of ignorance and distance; or perhaps a flicker of comprehension comes, a bare inkling.”
–Harry Vandervlist

The story of Dianne Bos and France has involved landscape, architecture and photography. It has to do with the memory of places, of artworks, and of those precious artifacts of popular culture that connect us to vanished worlds. The Sleeping Green is part of that story and its images do not represent as much as suggest a fleeting but powerful contact with the historical sites of the Western Front. In them, fighter planes are ghosts, only evoked by a genuine bullet that has come from the past to print the film and tear through a burning sky. In them, sheep are angels, peacefully grazing in a sleeping green.

This exhibition has been produced by the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery in partnership with the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris. With the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the University of Lethbridge Office of Research Services.

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