January 8 - February 19 2015
Wundermärchen, curated by Leah Taylor
Wundermärchen brings together a series of photographic stills from Amalie Atkins’ ongoing body of films titled, we live on the edge of disaster and imagine we are in a musical. This exhibition provides glimpses into Atkins’ secret, fictional world that is fluid in both time and space, a world created by reconstructing, altering and exaggerating autobiographical events until they take the shape of Wundermärchens. A German term, Wundermärchen translates to “wonder tale.” Wundermärchen was “adopted by the Romantics in Germany and the Russian folklorists to characterise the folk tale or fairy tale.”
Using a large format field camera, Atkins captured both staged and spontaneous moments from the film sets, allowing for liminal spaces or meta-narratives to organically develop from her original script. Each photograph contains two distinct elements: raw prairie landscape, and brightly uniformed characters, coalescing to reveal complex issues of the human condition such as survival, strength, loss, anxiety and resistance.
With an all-female cast of characters, Atkins’ nonlinear, intertwining storylines investigate memories, matriarchy, history, folklore and family. From the roller skating army of Valkyries and the Two-Headed Sister, to stoic Aunt Agatha, sisterhood emanates from every image. The oral histories passed down from Atkins’ mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are integral to her narratives.
Wundermärchen explores Atkins continuum of interpretations created from her familial stories, linking the present to the past.
Leah Taylor, Curator
Amalie Atkins is a multidisciplinary artist whose work hop-scotches from filmmaking to fabric-based sculpture to performance. Atkins currently lives and works in Saskatoon. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally.
She has had recent solo shows at Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge AB, The MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina SK, and Elora ON (review in Canadian Art). She was included in Oh Canada in North Adams MA as well as group shows in London UK, Winnipeg, Saskatoon among numerous other cities. She was a Sobey long list candidate in 2012 and 2013. Her Three Minute Miracle installation will be appearing at Moving Image in New York March 3-6, 2016 with Dc3 Gallery.