LINDA DUVALL Visual and Media Artist

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Linda Duvall is a Saskatoon-based visual artist whose work exists at the intersection of collaboration, performance and conversation. Her hybrid practice addresses recurring themes of connection to place, grief and loss, and the many meanings of exclusion and absence.


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Recent Activities

Nov 2018 - Hospitalfield Interdisciplinary Residency, Arbroath, Scotland

Nov 2018 - Social Art Summit, Sheffield, England

August 2018 - Exhibition Woven Together: The Influence of Sherri Smith at Crooked Tree Cultural Center, Petoskey, Michigan

August 2018 - EMMA International Collaboration at Big River, Saskatchewan

August 2018 - Murmur Land Studio Workshop, Saskatchewan

May 2018 - Biophony : Ayatana Artists' Research Program in Gatineau, PQ

May 2018 - The final Open Engagement Conference in New York, NY

 

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In the Hole Residency 

In the Hole was a short-term residency located in an eathen hole on Treaty 6 territory in rural Saskatchewan, Canada. Each resident spent 6 hours each day in this hole as a participant in this residency. Residents came for either one or two consecutive days.

This residency coincided with an exhibition at PAVED Arts Saskatoon.

This 6 foot deep hole was dug in 2012 with a 5 foot walkway circling a central mound of earth. This hole has been hollowed out of thick prairie grassland with roots dangling overhead. Since then this space has been subject to ongoing weather events like rain, snow, hail and wind. Various transformations have occurred due to gopher and swallow incursions, and larger animals like deer, foxes, skunks and coyotes that discovered this sheltered space.

A space such as this hole can be approached from the perspective of the Anthropocene and ecology, spirituality and burials, secrecy or revelations, history and agriculture, and metaphor and symbol. This land is especially significant in terms of the history of Saskatchewan since there is no evidence that it has ever been tilled.

The premise of this residency was that new knowledge comes from the concentrated interaction of people with varying knowledge bases and perspectives.

This hole in the ground became a site for conversation, contemplation, reading out loud, making sounds, or being silent. This is also about duration, about spending extended blocks of time surrounded by earth and sky, and one other person.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Remai Modern presented

The Unacknowledged

Saskatoon Symphony 408 20th Street West, Saskatoon

The Unacknowledged is an ongoing, multi-faceted project by Linda Duvall that focuses on deceased individuals whose bodies have gone unclaimed. Due to the person’s situation at the time of death, there is no funeral, no obituary, and no celebration of life. While it can be easy to make assumptions about the circumstances and decisions that lead to this, the reasons are complex and each story is unique. The Unacknowledged allows for the recognition of the lives and deaths of these anonymous men and women, who are a vital part of our families and our communities.

For this presentation of The Unacknowledged, Duvall has been in dialog with different communities and faith groups about how they approach death. These ceremonies, rituals, music, and food customs will be incorporated into a commemoration event featuring diverse participants, each honoring an unclaimed person. While these gestures reflect the background and personal beliefs of the participants, together they reflect on our shared social bonds and the vulnerability and fragility of all lives. By naming the unclaimed in a shared public context, The Unacknowledged recognizes that there are people in our community without family supports, either through estrangement, geographical distance, containment in institutions, and other complicated situations.

For an earlier component of the project, Duvall worked with collaborators from across Canada—including theologians, poets, lawyers, inmates, filmmakers, health care workers, and street involved women—to produce commemorative banners for over 30 unclaimed individuals.

A selection of these were displayed from June 21 - July 3, 2016

 

http://remaimodern.org/pre-launch-programs/projects/linda-duvall-unacknowledged

 

 

 

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"Duvall’s work is as much about sociology and anthropology as it is about art. She takes, however, the role of ‘rebel sociologist’ … her interest is less in scientific methodology than in constructing work that fascinates in its final presentation."

Linda Jansma 'Sanctioned Deception' in catalogue Linda Duvall Enough White Lies 2005

 

"Linda Duvall engineers temporary relationships between strangers. Her social engagement art works bring people together to share stories across divides of culture, class and region. She uses artifice to encourage authenticity. These initially awkward meetings soon melt barriers to reveal a common humanity. The projects are fuelled by a faith in the healing properties of purposeless dialogue. Success is measured by feelings of quality engagement rather than the achievement of some end. The work is goalless but not guileless. The encounters are not ephemeral; Duvall records some of the sessions, others can be eavesdropped, so we can marvel at the richness of interpersonal discourse."

David Garneau 'Engaging Strangers' in catalogue Linda Duvall Where were the Mothers? 2009