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Bond House Projects | Centenarians with Jamie Dyson
27/07/2013 - 04/08/2013
OPEN SATURDAYS / SUNDAYS BETWEEN JULY 27 – AUG 4
12 – 6pm or by appointment
Private View | Thursday 25 July | 6-9pm
ASC projects – Bond House, 20-32 Goodwood Road, London, SE14 6BL
Jason de Haan, Miruna Dragan, Jamie Dyson, Kris Lindskoog, Warren McLachlan,
Jonathan Trayner, Mitch Speed, Phill Wilson-Perkin.
Piecing together histories of a ghost town leaves a mountain of unanswered questions. Graves can’t talk after all. Oral histories meander and meld between the antiquated media that is unearthed – newspaper clippings, old photographs, maps and diagrams of the locale all provide an axis point for conjecture… traces.. a portal to a time when a small mining town, the town of Corbin, British Columbia first began. The year was 1908.
Built on the fortune of the aging coal baron, Daniel Chase Corbin, the town boomed in the early 1910’s with a large strip mining operation that saw miners unite from disparate backgrounds. Immigrants from Europe and Asia worked alongside second generation Canadians and Americans, seeking prosperity and fortune on Coal Mountain, an adjacent slope that housed a trove of the treasured black gold.
But by 1935 the town had seen disaster, starvation and destitution at the hands of its tyrannical founder. Infuriated by union activity and labor disputes Corbin unleashed his fury in February of that year, driving a tractor through a crowd of union protesters, inciting a bloody riot. Workers united and battled against special police, company thugs and the tyranny of the mines founder. There was no resolution to the battle of wills and the mine ground to a halt. By 1951 the town was abandoned.
Just over a century has passed now since the founding of Corbin and, aside from a few seasonal residents, only the Centenarians remain: the flora, fauna and ghosts that have endured the last 106 years in this forgotten mountain-scape. These eyes of the forests have witnessed a century long saga and comprise a delicate ecosystem of the living and the non.
In August of 2012, seven international artists united in Corbin to distill a picture of life in this ghost town. The exhibition Centenarians focuses on the desire of resident artists to channel the natural and supernatural, in an attempt to resolve the histories, characters and unknown dimensions of life in Corbin over the past century.
A strong focus on the politics and history of the site, specifically within notions of labour and resistance to control; how, as a working town, Corbin relates to the surrounding ‘natural’ environment; and the conflicting mythological relationship between the human and the non human’ are currents that run through the work of the CUR 2012 resident artists.
Centenarians is kindly supported by the Artists’ International Development Fund, a three-year programme run jointly by the British Council and Arts Council England.