Main gallery

A Closed System

Aimée Henny Brown

July 6 to August 31, 2020

Curated By Sally Frater


The online exhibition A Closed System features works that are inspired by architectural structures and traditional landscape photography. Aimée Henny Brown’s collages in the series Urban Fortress Interiors are assembled through meticulous analogue cuts and robust editing. By synchronizing historical sources into new ruins and landscapes, the finished pieces simultaneously depict the past and potential futures, calling into question established modes of representation and the veracity of the printed image. Using collage to explore themes of world-building, radical ‘nature’, transrealism and apocalypse; the works operate as a primer for contemplation of current events while reconciling the kitschy, absurd aesthetics of bygone science fiction narratives. The collage works are accompanied by the video Futur Proche, a seamless assemblage that pushes past a still portrait of nostalgic optimism towards ‘the future’ by employing time and movement, placing the viewer in a continuous observation cycle of the everyday and of the spectacular.

With these works the artist’s goal and challenge is to transport viewers from a nostalgic view of past architectural styles and emergency shelters into a critical examination of contemporary nuclear distress and imagined refuge, beyond the limits of colonial archival records. Using collage tactics to activate historical documents – to explore themes of prospect, world-building, transrealism, post-apocalypse and the politics of panic – has also allowed her to displace historical sources toward new ruins and landscapes.

Popular culture often presents survival as an abstract concept related to natural disasters, environmental or religious fanaticism, social panic, and apocalypse theory. The fundamental inquiry of this exhibition lies between discussions of the everyday and of the spectacular, while continuously asking the viewer: “How will we survive the present and what could the future look like?

Artist BIO

Aimée Henny Brown, an artist and educator of settler ancestry, completed her BFA at the University of Alberta and obtained her Masters in Fine and Media Arts at NSCAD University in 2007. Aimée’s artistic practice engages archives, research and printed matter to question historical content within her contemporary art practice. She has received several awards and grants, notably the Joseph Beuys Scholarship for Artistic Merit and several Canada Council Production Grants.

Her collages, drawings, performances and bookworks have been presented nationally and internationally, with group shows in Germany, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and solo exhibitions in Canada. She has attended numerous artist residencies in North America and was recently artist-in-residence with Concordia University’s Print Media Department. She is currently a mentor with BC Arts Council’s Mentorship program and is an Assistant Professor: foundations, 3D and extended media, with the University of the Fraser Valley, a grateful guest on S’ólh Téméxw, the unceded territory of the Stó:lō people.

Exhibition is generously supported by: