Su Rynard

Bear (2004) video installation

October 13 - November 11, 2006

a video installation by Su Rynard
16mm film / video, 9 minute loop, colour, 2004, stereo sound

BEAR consists of a rear screen video projection within a wildlife
diorama. The diorama case, constructed from the classic materials of
museum display -- mahogany & glass, (38" long, 24" high and 20" deep)
is the sculptural component of the installation. Inside the diorama
is a model landscape where trees, moss and pinecones combine with the
various flotsam and jetsam of modern life -- coffee cups, tissues,
and rusted metal. The painted scenic backdrop normally found in
classic museum dioramas is replaced by a rear screen video
projection. A black bear 'wildlife film' plays continuously on this

The video was shot over a two-year period in rural Ontario. Black
bears were documented foraging for food in their 'natural habitat' -
the township garbage dump. Set in the midst of a parade of SUVs and
minivans -- a word-less narrative unfolds with both people and
animals as the characters. While sometimes humorous, a tenuous and
disturbing ecological relationship is portrayed.

Apropos to the twenty-first century, where our experience of the
natural world is often technologically or socially mediated, BEAR
explores how natural history dioramas construct a view of nature, and
how this speaks to our cultural relationship with the natural world.

* * *

Su Rynard works across a range of approaches: dramatic, experimental,
documentary and installation. BEAR (2004) is the second piece in a
trilogy of video installations. The award winning BUG GIRL was
completed in 2003 and APPLES (REQIUM) is in development. These three
works are related in their exploration of "nature". Rynard's short video SIGNAL (3 min. 1993) marked the beginning of a trajectory where she began to look to science as a departure point for artistic
inquiry. Her most recent film KARDIA (85 min. 2005) - an exploration
of the heart as soul and psyche, completes this cycle. KARDIA is the
recipient of the prestigious (USA) Alfred P. Sloan Prize.