Into the Wild

A collaborative project with Marcia Huyer

"As a complete image – earth, tent, trees, sky, stars – this installation paints something like a reminder of our own forays into the backwoods: propelled by romantic desires to ‘get away’ to the profoundly silent, untouched hinterland that lies just beyond the pressing strictures of the city limits. In this way, Into the Wild also has something in common with the ubiquitous genre of Canadian landscape art that has played a significant role in constructing our country’s vast wilderness as a sublime and metaphoric subject akin to (colonial) National Identity itself. The absurdity of Hengeveld’s representation hints at a tension between the ‘authentic’ landscape of our cultural imagination and our own mediated interaction with it. Through the use of tents, hiking boots, windbreakers, steel knives, matches, portable stoves, bottled water, etc., how much of our urban lives do we bring with us ‘into the wild’? And just how ‘wild’ is this land?"

text by Matthew Hills

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