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Stan Douglas. Photo: Evaan Kheraj.
Stan Douglas. Photo: Evaan Kheraj.

Stan Douglas to Represent Canada at 2021 Venice Biennale

The National Gallery of Canada announced today that the Vancouver- and Los Angeles–based artist Stan Douglas will represent Canada at the Fifty-Ninth Venice Biennale. Known for his installations, films, photographs, and theater productions; his interest in outdated technologies; and his investigations into the repercussions of historical events, Douglas has previously participated in four editions of the prestigious contemporary art exhibition.

For the last iteration of the biennial, which closed in November 2019, Douglas created a two-channel video installation, Doppelgänger, which depicts colliding alternate realities—the piece will go on view at David Zwirner, New York, and Victoria Miro, London, later this month—and presented a selection of photographs from his 2017 “Blackout” series. Partially inspired by blackouts that occurred in New York City in 1977 and 2003, the series imagines the impact of the loss of power on a monumental scale.

Douglas was selected by a national committee comprising Sasha Suda, the National Gallery’s director and CEO; Kitty Scott, deputy director and chief curator of the National Gallery; John Zeppetelli, director and chief curator at the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal; and Reid Shier, director of the Polygon Gallery. In a statement, the jury praised Douglas’s practice for its “critical imagination, formal ingenuity and deep commitment to social enquiry.”

“In conversation, the jury cited the artist’s continuing re-imagination of the mediums of photography and multi-channel film and video installation, together with his paradigmatic investigations into the relation of local histories with generational social forces,” the statement read. “The currency of Douglas’ practice is especially relevant in the context of the Biennale’s global dialogues, and the jury was unanimous in its enthusiasm for his selection.”

Douglas’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Tate Gallery, London; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; among others.