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Beneath a Petroliferous Moon - Book

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Petroleum, in its extraction, distribution, economics, and social, political, and environmental impacts, defines our contemporary world, yet in the developed countries that consume it most, remains conspicuously invisible. Taking its title from a Pablo Neruda's 1940 poem, “Standard Oil Co.”, this survey of artistic responses to the petroleum industry from international 11 artists offers a wide variety of approaches. While some artists focus on petroleum's environmental impacts, others choose to respond to its social significance, its modern history, or the awe-inspiring visuals of the industry's infrastructure and detritus. Works in the exhibition include; masks fashioned from jerry cans and found objects by the Yoruba artist Romuald Hazoumè, of Benin; kinetic sculpture based upon the tar sands of northern Alberta by Calgary artist Robyn Moody; lace-like sculptures made from oil drums by New York-based Canadian artist Cal Lane; photographs, drawings, and videos made in Arctic Canada by Vermont artist and farmer Louisa Conrad; documents and drawings by Austrian artist Ernst Logar made in the Scottish oil town of Aberdeen; a delicately carved jerry can by Vancouver's Brian Jungen; a video set in North America's first oil town, Oil City, Pennsylvania, by Ohio artist Robert Ladislas Derr; a large sculpture based on oil drums and advertising by Cherokee artist Jimmie Durham (Rome/Berlin); photographs of the Alberta tar sands by renowned Toronto photographer Edward Burtynsky; drawings and sculpture inspired by the Exxon Valdez disaster by expat Canadian artist Susan Turcot (UK); and a billboard by Saskatoon artist David LaRiviere.

Hardcover published in 2014 by the Mendel Art Gallery, 80 pages. Measures 16.5 x 21.5cm.

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