Linda Duvall is a Saskatoon-based visual artist whose work exists at the intersection of collaboration, performance and conversation. Her hybrid practice addresses recurring themes of connection to place, grief and loss, and the many meanings of exclusion and absence.
In the Hole Residency
Deadline for Submissions to this residency has now passed
Have you always wanted the intensity of a day or 2 (or 3) spent in a large earthen hole with one other person?
In the Hole is a short-term residency located in an eathen hole on Treaty 6 territory in rural Saskatchewan, Canada. Each resident will spend 6 hours each day in this hole as a participant in this residency. Residents can come for one day up to a maximum of 3 consecutive days.
This residency coincides with a confirmed exhibition at PAVED Arts Saskatoon. Live video and audio streaming from the hole will be presented in the gallery in the city of Saskatoon 60 Km away for the duration of each residency day.
Each participant in this residency will spend these 6 hours each day in the hole with the artist/residency director and a video camera. One person will participate each day.
This 6 foot deep hole was dug in 2012 with a 5 foot walkway circling a central mound of earth. This hole has been hollowed out of thick prairie grassland with roots dangling overhead. Since then this space has been subject to ongoing weather events like rain, snow, hail and wind. Various transformations have occurred due to gopher and swallow incursions, and larger animals like deer, foxes, skunks and coyotes that discovered this sheltered space.
A space such as this hole can be approached from the perspective of the Anthropocene and ecology, spirituality and burials, secrecy or revelations, history and agriculture, and metaphor and symbol. This land is especially significant in terms of the history of Saskatchewan since there is no evidence that it has ever been tilled.
The premise of this residency is that new knowledge comes from the concentrated interaction of people with varying knowledge bases and perspectives.
This hole in the ground is a possible site for conversation, contemplation, reading out loud, making sounds, or being silent. This is also about duration, about spending extended blocks of time surrounded by earth and sky, and one other person. This residency is open to anyone with an interest in exploring this experience regardless of age, artistic, educational or cultural background. Accessibility can be discussed.
This immersive experience provides an alternative model for participating in a residency. In this model the organizer of the residency is an active contributor in the entire process with the participant. In the Hole provides a context for looking directly at collaboration through an experiential lens.
View from Hole
Residence for Participants
David LaRiviere - Artistic Director of PAVED Arts, Saskatoon http://www.pavedarts.ca
Felicia Gay – Curator, Wanuskewin Heritage Park – Gallery https://wanuskewin.com
Monique Blom – Saskatchewan-based performance artist www.moniqueblom.ca
Linda Duvall – Saskatoon based visual artist www.lindaduvall.ca
The Remai Modern presented
JUNE 25, 2016
Saskatoon Symphony 408 20th Street West, Saskatoon
The Unacknowledged is an ongoing, multi-faceted project by Linda Duvall that focuses on deceased individuals whose bodies have gone unclaimed. Due to the person’s situation at the time of death, there is no funeral, no obituary, and no celebration of life. While it can be easy to make assumptions about the circumstances and decisions that lead to this, the reasons are complex and each story is unique. The Unacknowledged allows for the recognition of the lives and deaths of these anonymous men and women, who are a vital part of our families and our communities.
For this presentation of The Unacknowledged, Duvall has been in dialog with different communities and faith groups about how they approach death. These ceremonies, rituals, music, and food customs will be incorporated into a commemoration event featuring diverse participants, each honoring an unclaimed person. While these gestures reflect the background and personal beliefs of the participants, together they reflect on our shared social bonds and the vulnerability and fragility of all lives. By naming the unclaimed in a shared public context, The Unacknowledged recognizes that there are people in our community without family supports, either through estrangement, geographical distance, containment in institutions, and other complicated situations.
For an earlier component of the project, Duvall worked with collaborators from across Canada—including theologians, poets, lawyers, inmates, filmmakers, health care workers, and street involved women—to produce commemorative banners for over 30 unclaimed individuals.
A selection of these were displayed from June 21 - July 3, 2016
Duvall presented the project The Unacknowledged at the Open Engagement Conference that was being held in Oakland California in April 2016
The Unacknowledged project focuses on deceased individuals who have no family or others to claim their bodies after they die. This means that there is no funeral, no obituary, no celebration of life. The project The Unacknowledged allows for an acknowledgment of the lives and deaths of these men and women. Others may assume them powerless, if only in their invisibility after death. This project gives them back a voice, but also raises questions about what it means to die unacknowledged.
"Duvall’s work is as much about sociology and anthropology as it is about art. She takes, however, the role of ‘rebel sociologist’ … her interest is less in scientific methodology than in constructing work that fascinates in its final presentation."
Linda Jansma 'Sanctioned Deception' in catalogue Linda Duvall Enough White Lies 2005
"Linda Duvall engineers temporary relationships between strangers. Her social engagement art works bring people together to share stories across divides of culture, class and region. She uses artifice to encourage authenticity. These initially awkward meetings soon melt barriers to reveal a common humanity. The projects are fuelled by a faith in the healing properties of purposeless dialogue. Success is measured by feelings of quality engagement rather than the achievement of some end. The work is goalless but not guileless. The encounters are not ephemeral; Duvall records some of the sessions, others can be eavesdropped, so we can marvel at the richness of interpersonal discourse."
David Garneau 'Engaging Strangers' in catalogue Linda Duvall Where were the Mothers? 2009