A New World


Jessica Auer

A New World

07.11 — 14.12 / 2014

Vernissage 7 November 2014 – 5 p.m.

Based in oral storytelling, Viking Age history was only recorded by author-historians centuries after the events took place; as memory dissolved behind myth, these stories became part fiction and part documentary.

Referring directly to the European ‘discovery’ of North America, Jessica Auer draws from saga literature and archeology to examine this historical enigma. After spending several years following in the footsteps of the Viking explorers that first encountered the New World, the artist travels to Greenland where a team of Danish archeologists work on the restoration of the world’s best-preserved Norse ruins. In this landscape, somewhere between the Old and the New Worlds, layers of history drift from one stratum to another. Stones that may once have supported a ruin now punctuate the walls of a modern house. Other stones, previously shifted to new purposes, are shifted back to restore an archaeological site.

Through the use of photography and video, Jessica Auer observes how humans go about altering and reinterpreting the landscape. Through these subtle observations, subjective perspectives are encouraged to take shape, calling attention to the ambiguities inherent in all documentary approaches.


The artist would like to thank Georg Nyegaard, Jacob Noe Bovin, Henrik Høier, Terryll Loffler and Andreas Rutkauskas for their generous collaboration and gratefully acknowledges the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for their financial support.


Photographs: Tanya St-Pierre

Video: Gaétan Desmarais


Jessica Auer explores questions of the contemporary landscape by studying the historical and mythological quality of certain cultural sites. Agraduate of the master’s of fine arts (MFA) program at Concordia University, her work has been shown in Canada and the United States at venues such as the Newspace Center for Photography (Portland, Oregon), the Canadian Centre for Architecture (Montreal) and VU Photo (Quebec City). She is a recipient of the W.B. Bruce European Fine Art Travel Scholarship and has taken part in the program of studio-residencies offered by the CALQ at the Banff Centre in Alberta. Jessica Auer is co-founder of the Les Territoires gallery (Montreal) and teaches photography at Concordia University. She is represented by the Patrick Mikhail gallery (Ottawa).

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