Kevin Schmidt
A Sign in the Northwest Passage, 2010−present
Quartier de l’Innovation
22.10.14 – 29.11.14

Kevin Schmidt’s A Sign in the Northwest Passage is an open-ended project launched by placing a large, wooden, freestanding sign on the drifting ice near Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories. Hand-routed with ominous texts taken from the Book of Revelation, the sign was conceived to be buoyant, so that, with summertime melt, it would float across Arctic waters, carrying with it the biblical verse foreshadowing the apocalyptic impacts of global warming. Photographs, videos and texts document the initial journey of the sign’s installation as well as the subsequent and ongoing attempts by the artist and a small group of collaborators to locate it. The work is not complete until the sign is recovered. 

This works brings to light the paradox of the North’s development: as global warming reduces ice levels in the Arctic, it opens the region to trade and increased resource exploitation. In turn, fossil fuel extraction, the shining promise of this new frontier, sustains the consumption of a non-renewable resource known to be a leading cause of global warming. Thus A Sign in the Northwest Passage shows us where to look for an actual sign of the end of times.

– ML

A Sign in the Northwest Passage, 2010 – 2012, multi-media installation, dimensions variable (courtesy of the artist and Catriona Jeffries Gallery; collection of the Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, purchased with funds from the John and Maggie Mitchell Endowment Fund and with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program)
A Sign in the Northwest Passage, 2010 – 2012, multi-media installation, dimensions variable (courtesy of the artist and Catriona Jeffries Gallery; collection of the Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, purchased with funds from the John and Maggie Mitchell Endowment Fund and with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program)
Biography

Born in 1972 in Ottawa, Kevin Schmidt lives and works in Vancouver and Berlin. His work was recently featured in a number of solo exhibitions, including Kevin Schmidt, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2014); EDM House, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2013); A Sign in the Northwest Passage, as part of Subjective Projections, Bielfelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld, Germany (2011); Don’t Stop Believing, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto (2011); A Sign in the Northwest Passage (billboard project), The Power Plant, Toronto (2011); Epic Journey, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2011); Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver (2010); Galerie van der Mieden, Antwerp, Belgium (2009); and Wild Signals, Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin (2009).

His work has also been shown in numerous group exhibitions: Alexandra Baumgartner / Robert Devriendt / Sophie Jung / Mahony / Agnieszka Polska / Kevin Schmidt, Insitu, Berlin (2014); Sights and Sounds: Global Film and Video, The Jewish Museum, New York (2014); Untrue North, Yukon Arts Centre, Whitehorse (2012); Nuit Blanche, Toronto (2011); Up North, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton (2011); Sentimental Journey, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2009); Loaded, Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver (2009); and How Soon is Now, Vancouver Art Gallery (2009).

He is represented by Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver.

http://catrionajeffries.com/artists/kevin-schmidt