“The Idea of North”

Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie

An exhibition about the north seems like a timely event, as global warming alters the nature of the Arctic. But if guest curator Dieter Roelstraete hoped to challenge rustic, romantic fantasies about northernness, he should have used a compass, if not a reality check. The group show of Canadian artists featured Allison Hrabluik, Zin Taylor, and Ron Terada. By attributing special insight about the north to Canadians—80 percent of whom live within 150 miles of the country’s southern border with the United States, which is to say, not very far north—Roelstraete offered a symptom of the fantasy he would like to diagnose. Glenn Gould’s 1967 radio piece was likely an inspiration for the title. But it would have been more interesting to explore how warming of the polar region—the idea of heat—will change the Canadian imaginary, both inside and outside the country.

While Hrabluik’s collages and

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