Artist Profile: Althea Thauberger

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Usually, artists have one preferred specialty. One thing that their work consistently demonstrates that defines their career and sets them apart. Such a thing does not exist for Althea Thauberger who instead specializes in spanning an insanely wide spectrum of artistic genres and mediums.

Oct.8.AL.Althea2Thauberger is a Canadian visual artist from Saskatoon who is now based out of  Vancouver. The Canadian artist is truly eclectic with her notable works ranging from avante garde films to naturalist photography to unique modern art, often depicting shocking scenes of cultural groups. This diversification of her work has truly made her an internationally renowned and acclaimed artist.

One of the many purposes that drives Althea’s creativity is her social conscience. One of the thematic commonalities between her work is her attention to disassembling boundaries or restrictions imposed upon specific social groups. Whether this means ‘the glass ceiling’ for feminist groups or genocide in Eastern Europe, Thauberger is miraculously able to portray the situation with empathy and clarity in her art form.

Additionally, Thauberger also tends to break the mold by using groups as the subject of her focus as opposed to individuals. Where as other artists struggle to accurately portray a single subject, Thauberger manages to coordinate large groups into a framable masterpiece.

One of her most recent works is a film entitled, Marat Sade Bohnice, which is a visual interpretation of historical events as well as classical plays centred around the French Revolution. The film comments on mental illness, in hopes of bringing discussions about mental health to the forefront of society once again. With only limited screenings earlier this year, hopefully the influential and unconventional film will soon make its way to mainstream avenues.

Oct.8.Al.AltheaAt Brock University, we are truly honoured to be hosting Thauberger as a guest to The Walker Cultural Leader Series 2013-2014 at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. The first of Thauberger’s events is a public Artist Talk on Oct. 28th at the Pond Inlet. In addition, another free community event is planned on Nov. 1st at the Rodman Hall Art Centre.

Most excitingly however, is Thauberger’s resolution to work with Visual Arts students in producing a video which will later be shown in a free, community-wide public screening on November 8. The chance to work with and alongside such a renowned visual artist will no doubt be highly influential for these specific participating students. It will truly be interesting to see what the collaboration of wisdom and enthusiasm can produce.

For more information on events at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, see page 18.

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