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D’Arcy Wilson: The Memorialist | Opening ReceptionNovember 4, 2016
The Memorialist resurrects the little-known historical fact that Halifax, NS, was home to the first public zoo in North America. Here, the local naturalist Andrew Downs established zoological gardens in 1847, which grew to be one hundred acres in size, housing regional and exotic species of animals in sprawling wooded enclosures. The opening of these gardens marked the first time that Western Culture in this continent placed the wild animal in a “living museum”. The exhibition The Memorialist is comprised of drawings, field notes, video, performance, and photography that collectively highlight the dysfunctional relationship between Western Culture and wildlife, and the transformation of the animal into spectacle. By reconstructing how the zoo may have been, Wilson depicts the problematic geographies of the colonial settler and the wild animal. A publication with essay by guest-writer Felicty Tayler will document the exhibition.