deluge contemporary art

July 3 to August 1, 2015


Michael Doerksen

Opening Friday, July 3, 7 to 10 pm

An exhibition consisting of three parts, Coupling revolves around cast bronze sculptures of iron pyrite Pleuroceras fossils, an extinct marine invertebrate of the genus ammonite which thrived 145 million years ago during the lower Jurassic, upper Pliensbachian ages. Its name ammonite refers its particular shape, similar to the ram's horns of the Egyptian god Ammon. Here the fossil is conjoined and shown with a bronzed sample canister once used by the Ontario Department of Health Laboratories. The lid has been removed and the two halves are solid, as if it had been fossilized with the mollusc shell. Etched onto copper plates are photographic images rescued from a series of anonymous slides dated August 1974 depicting a young nude couple camping on a lake in what appears in an idyllic unspoiled wilderness. 
Finally, Doerksen will exhibit an ongoing large-scale drawing based on this found image, painstakingly inscribing the source material. The recombinant nature of photographic reproduction—where the vernacular functions not as a real language but rather as an abstract set of norms formalized within the frame—alongside fossil forms and drawing-as-industry allows the artist to deeply consider the measure and substance of history located in contemporary forms of idiomatic representation. The suggestion, as a science fiction plot, is that the coupled pleuroceras is mysteriously connected to the place and people depicted in the copper plates and drawing, as a biological specimen, or an icon. The reason for this connection is for the viewer to imagine.
Michael Doerksen is a visual artist and musician originally from Victoria, BC where he obtained a Fine Arts Diploma from Camosun College, then completed a BFA in sculpture and photography and an MFA in sculpture from Concordia University in Montreal. His work has evolved as an continuing sculptural treatment of the facts of objects in space and the fictions that pervade them. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, both independently and as a member of the video/performance based art collective The Discriminating Gentlemen’s Club. Doerkson was the lead guitarist for Sunset Rubdown which released four LPs, two EPs and toured internationally before disbanding in 2009. Represented by Galerie Lilian Rodriguez in Montreal, Doerksen currently lives in Banff, Alberta where he works at The Banff Centre as the Sculpture Facilitator for Visual + Digital Arts.
© Deluge Contemporary Art, 2015
Deluge Art Gallery, Victoria, BC, Canada
Canadian Art, Art Gallery Greater Victoria