Canadian Mist, it's cool and refreshing. Lie back, odalisque like and embrace it. Let it fall on your face.
The Rocky Mountains that follow the border between British Columbia and Alberta rise jagged and monstrous from the ground, and are ubiquitous of what Canada signifies to outsiders, and maybe insiders too. Nestled in the midst of the Canadian Rockies are two National Parks: Jasper National Park and Banff National Park. Banff is also home to the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity - a hub of intentional creation on all levels.
On the occasion of the opening of for the time being: 2017 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art at the Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff Centre for the Arts and the Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, AB., I was invited to write a short text on a media artist of my choosing. Thus, I made the 700 km, 9+ hour trip to Banff on the afternoon of June 24 2017, the opening night of the exhibition in Banff. After spilled coffee, lost keys, animal viewings and finally arriving at 11pm I walked into the gallery bedraggled carrying a backpack, briefcase and plastic bobble filled with lettuce.
The next morning I groggily work up when room service asked if I was checking out and raised my head to see Jayce Salloum's Kelly / Mt. Rundle Los Angeles California. Mount Rundle Alberta is not visible from my room, but others are. I sat, legs dangling over the side of the bed in my underwear, messy hair looking out eyes squinting at the sun gleaming off still ice covered peaks in the distance.
I sure can imagine that cool mist. And what I wouldn't have done for a refreshing Canadian Mist in my hand right then. What of this billboard? Was it advertising nature? Travel? Luxury surroundings? My thought: a beer for hipsters that is hipper than PBR; that satisfying pop of the can and fizz of the foam rising, slurp it up it's Canadian Mist, it won't last long.
(This text is inspired by the zine Room with a Review, created during the 2016 Critical Arts Writing Ensemble II residency, Banff Centre for the Arts.)