Twilight Avenger

Kelly Richardson at Birch Libralato

At Birch Libralato, Kelly Richardson put her own spin on the photo-conceptualist tradition of representing nature, while also tapping into the longer history of Canadian landscape artists. Her hyper-real photographs and dream-like videos risk seeming cheesy with their reliance on digital effects, but the best of them present forests and clearings as we now inescapably see them - inseparable from the built world and always through the lens of electronic media. Her glossy photographs push postcard aesthetics into the realm of the uncanny; their seeming perfection rendering them unbelievable. The featured video in this exhibition, Twilight Avenger, depicts a grazing deer awash in St. Elmo’s Fire, glowing radioactively and warily eyeing the viewer. More so than a dozen episodes of Planet Earth, it makes you conscious of our toxic imposition in nature without actually condemning our actions. This is how it is, the deer seems to say, before wandering off.

Terence Dick
August 13, 2008