The Vancouver-based artist Stan Douglas will represent Canada at the 59th Venice Biennale, the National Gallery of Canada (commissioner of the pavilion) announced today. Douglas has participated at the main exhibition four times before, most recently in 2019 where he created and debuted a two-channel sci-fi video installation called Doppelgänger, depicting colliding alternate realities. The installation will go on view at David Zwirner, New York, and Victoria Miro, London, later his month.
Douglas is known for his installations, films and photographs, and his interest in the obsolescence of technology and art. He often chooses to locate his work where failures of political and social systems are most apparent—failed utopias. But his narrative themes are not about redemption of past occurrences but rather a way to reconsider them and to understand why the utopian movements did not fulfill themselves: what larger forces were at play, what remains and what might be of value. He also examines technologies role in image-making, and how collective memory are shaped by them. Doppelgänger for instance, addresses the slippery notion of objective truth, and within the contemporary society, we get a sense of the position of the “other”.