Jason de Haan – Future Future Age(s)

4 August–9 September 2011 in the Main Space

Opening Reception: Thursday August 4th at 7:00 PM

Artist Talk: Thursday August 4th at 6:00 PM

Calgary artist Jason de Haan envisions a far-off future. Featuring a cube containing Dawson City northern lights, quartz crystal balls, a tree trunk adorned in gold and a set of supposedly haunted mirrors, de Haan considers “states of suspension, looping and simultaneity” with a series of five sculptural installations. His works explore the mysterious and the metaphysical, providing viewers with a glance into alternate realities.

View posts about Jason de Haan on the Latitude 53 Blog.

Monograph by Kristopher Lindskoog

Something to believe, bumbling attempts to pin a butterfly to a board,
Annotated conversation, mostly as it happened. Beirut, Lebanon, May 2011.

The Alberta Artist, famously out-of-province, had given me assurance that I could meet with him in Beirut, Lebanon whilst he enjoyed a 9 month sojourn in the Historic city.

Sitting as we did, along the lapping shores of the azure Mediterranean, the Artist and I talked about many things. The cool sea breeze, frequent sips from our early afternoon Nescafe, and the smell of charring meats and sheesha were the backdrop to our meandering discussions about the exhibition. We talked of end times, art making, artʼs impossibilities and other futile things.

Kristopher Lindskoog: Lets start from the beginning. I know things like crystals, country music, Women, mysticism, and fishing are things you like. Among those, country and western music is tops. Was there ever a time that you believed in anything, other than country and western music?

Jason De Haan: No, Not really. Born with my boots on, huh huh! I mean, If you listen close enough, Willie talks about art too. Mystics come in all shapes and sizes, tones and colours...(Artist trails off, cough.) John Willie too...

KL: So what can you tell me about mystics? mysticism?

Short pause, 20 to 30 minutes...

KL: I cleared my throat, did you hear me there, eh?

JDH: Yeah, sorry. I just saw this guy dump bread into the ocean, and another guy swimming amongst it looking for gold...

Our conversation continued like this for some time. Questions were met with cryptic answers. All the while though we continued to watch the curious local culture Jason had noticed.

The afternoon wore on, as had the locale, and the Artist and I decide to switch to bottles of refreshing Almaza beer found inside a peculiar hole-in-the-wall. Hidden inside the cool confines of the Evergreen lounge, we began to speculate on the future of his practice and where he sat in the contemporary void....

KL: It would be more interesting if perhaps more of the works were speculative, more mystery, less psychology, they seem so prescriptive now, you think?

Jason de Haan

JDH: These works specifically are not psychology. How can you call harnessing rainbows psychology? These are about nature, the circle of life, right? How do you think I got that gold to grow inside of trees?

KL: Fair point about the gold... Nature, I get the reference; about capturing the wild intangible, right? But the business about growing gold, how about sharing the magicianʼs secret on that one with the gold?

JDH: I work with natural tendencies, steer the known into the imaginable, creating glimpses into the unknown, the future. There is the possibility to capture and conserve both natureʼs immensity and its miniature. There is no secret, just potential.

KL: I suppose this accounts for your interest in the local caves?

JDH: They embody both the search for the unknown, and natureʼs eye for detail.

Wishing to acknowledge the Artistʼs passion for historic depths, I wanted to speculate on some of Jasonʼs older works so I endeavored to steer the direction of our conversation...

KL: Some of your older works (old is a relative idea, Jason at this time still sucked the sap of youth, yet to enter the golden age of his thirties), seemed to be more loaded, more directly emotional, and violent. Can you tell me about Death Threat, from 2010?

JDH: Perhaps you should tell me, you wrote the catalogue...

KL: Fine. Lets dig a little deeper and talk about your beginnings in this art world. You, like myself, once associated with the Neo Fauves. Your were known for your moody ink drawings, somewhat resplendent with splashes of vibrant colour: bright greens and pinks, swathes of ink, puddles atop the page, what happened to all of that?

JDH: But Kris, surely you must know the joke about the colourblind painter right?

I nodded in recognition, mistaking it for the “once you go black you never go back” variety of joke. I laughed to myself, and immediately got the sense that this was not an appropriate response. I had gotten him wrong and so I let the words drift into the smoke and the ceiling of the Evergreen lounge...

As I reflected deep into the night about our conversation, I had an empty mind. I was free to travel among the images and ideas we had discussed. Enjoying this reflection I neared a sleepful state, yet heard one last reply from Jason, who sat across the room:

JDH: Donʼt turn this in to a Chris Cran/John Will* kind of thing, Ok?

Kristopher Lindskoog, 2011.

* Like Calgary artistʼs Will and Cran, Lindskoog and De Haan have collaborated and discussed each otherʼs work at length, and present this interview as a small tribute to our Calgary forefathers.

Kris Lindskoog is an Edmonton born Calgary artist who has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally. He mostly draws, sculpts, and very occasionally writes.

Jason de Haan is a Canadian multidisciplinary artist living and working in Calgary. His work has been shown in group exhibitions in Canada, the USA, Ireland, Mexico, Sweden and the UK. Past solo projects have been presented at Stride Gallery, Galerie Sans Nom, Lump Gallery/Projects, and at Museo Regional in Queretaro, Mexico. He participated in the exhibition Sleepless Nights at Galleri Kling & Bang in Reykjavik, Iceland and has recently presented solo exhibitions at Clint Roenisch Gallery, ODD Gallery and at Access Gallery as part of the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad program. Upcoming solo exhibitions include The Khyber ICA, Halifax with Miruna Dragan and Clint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto. He has participated in residencies at the Klondike Institute for Art and Culture and The Banff Centre and will be in residence at the Banff Centre again this coming September. Jason is represented by Clint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto.

©2008 Latitude 53 Contemporary Visual Culture | Designed and Powered by Gystworks