The Canadian Art Database

Scotiabank Nuit Blanche
Toronto Canada 2013
[Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2006 to 2013]

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Photo: Jordan Ellis

Robert Hengeveld - Toronto, Canada

Howl, 2007
Kinetic Sculpture

48 -3 Heenan Place (off of University Avenue,
south of Wellington Street West)

[ photographs ]  [ video ]

In Howl, a loading dock is transformed into the site of a hunt which is both theatrical and comedic. Central to the installation is a coyote-on-rabbit chase that loops continuously along the rails of a steel roller coaster. Mechanical birds and decoy deer form a flamboyant chorus, dancing along to an operatic soundtrack. A curious blend of clumsy choreography and sights commonly found in the world of the amusement park, Howl offers an absurdist take on how we represent the natural world.

Robert Hengeveld is an installation artist who is engaged in an exploration of objects which are manufactured to represent and replace what is real. Often elaborate and immersive by nature, his installations function as fantasy tableaux, filled with mass-produced decoys and artificial flora. The purpose of a decoy is multi-faceted: it is both a lure and a distraction. Though the artificial world of the decoys falls well short of achieving a convincing substitute for the living world, Howl proposes a campy vision for wildness in the city.

Robert Hengeveld completed his MFA at the University of Victoria (2005) and studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design. He is currently Artist-in-Residence at the University of Guelph in the School of Environmental Science. His work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally with past and upcoming exhibitions at The Power Plant (Toronto), Hallwalls Contemporary (Buffalo), and Mercer Union (Toronto).

Represented by Katharine Mulherin Contemporary Art Projects, Toronto.

Toronto Culture / Scotiabank