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Safety and Affection

05/02 2011 – 05/03 2011


Mendes Wood DM is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of the Canadian artist Bill Burns in Brazil.

Burns’ work about art, nature and civil society includes Safety Gear for Small Animals (1994–2010), How to Help Animals Escape from Natural History and How to Help Animals Escape from Degraded Habitats (1995–1999). His projects evoke the complexity of our relationship to animals and nature with particular reference to modernity.

The exhibition Safety and Affection also includes Burns’ series of photographs of Dogs and Boats and Airplanes (2002–2011). Dogs are of particular to Burn due to multiple roles they can play: friend, counselor, worker, commodity and wolf. Stories from the the past depict them as dangerous beasts, interlocutors, double agents. Today, their roles are more strictly defined: by social class, race, country and industrialism. Burns' project entitled Dogs and Boats and Airplanes includes with in two books, a photo series and a Toronto-based children's choir.

Burns’ work has been exhibited and published around the world, notably at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London (2008), KW in Berlin (2007), Museum of Modern Art in New York (2006), and the Seoul Museum of Art in Seoul (2003). He has published numerous books and essays including When Pain Strikes, a scholarly anthology, (Burns, Busby and Sawchuk, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1999); Bird Radio, (Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Koenig and KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Cologne and Berlin, 2007) and The Guide to the Flora and Fauna Information Service: 0.800.0FAUNA0FLORA, (Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, England, 2008) and Two Boiler Suits and a Playlist, (YYZ, Toronto, 2010). Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Koenig in Cologne will publish a boxed edition entitled Three Books and a CD About Plants and Animals and War in 2011.

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