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The rust in the furrow 2022
The rust in the furrow 2022 is a virtual re-creation of a 2013 locative and sculptural media project that recounts the story of a mysterious visitor's interactions with residents of the buildings now located on the site of the Markham Museum.
Taking the form of a museum audio guide, video documentary and sculptural "artifacts", this project integrates past and present facts and fictions, destabilizing and re-imagining history. Here, the actual and the virtual have become entangled, distorting spatial and temporal perception.
The narrative that binds these elements together emerged through a fusion of historical research conducted in the archives of the Markham Museum and personal testimony provided by current Markham residents. It is both a response to, and reflection of, the Archive and the practice of remembering history through the inclusion of some objects at the expense of forgetting history through the exclusion of others.
Formal qualities of museum presentation are employed as a counterpoint to the increasingly unreliable facts presented within the narrative. Even as artifice of the narrative crumbles around the participant, these formal qualities (mobile app, museum display cases, an authoritative audio guide voice, etc.) reassure them that the present moment corresponds to a past experience. This tension between form and content is echoed not only in the Markham Museum (heritage village vs. constructed history) but the city of Markham itself (homogenous suburb vs. diverse city).
Through this process of exploration, synthesis and inquisition, this project aims to re-contextualize both the Museum itself and present-day Markham, as well as foster the expansion of possibilities for the Markham of the future.