COOL – THE ARCTIC OUTSIDERS, is the name of an upcoming exhibit at Norway’s museum of outsider art. Canadian artist, Jordan MacLachlan, was invited to exhibit her clay vignettes at the festival along with works from other participating Arctic countries: Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. (Who knew Canada was an Arctic country?) This makes her an outsider in more ways than the obvious one.
One of the works on exhibit, entitled Marius, is pictured above. It shows the dispassionate response of visitors watching the matter-of-fact killing of the giraffe at the Copenhagen Zoo in 2014. Eighteen-month old Marius was a healthy, but genetically unsuitable, giraffe who was fed his favourite breakfast before he was shot, chopped up, and fed to the lions.
This compelling scene is a fine example from MacLachlan’s large body of work, which bears witness to our complex relationship with animals. We use them for food, work, sport, and companionship. We can also, apparently, get rid of them when they outlive their usefulness.
The exhibit is at Sortroms Museum/Trastad Samlinger, Norway’s Museum for Outsider Art. It runs from 20 June to 1 September 2017. The exhibit will take place in a new gallery in the center of Harstad during The Northern Norway Festival.