Trans/mission: Barley-Corn-Maize An installation by Ron Benner
The Visual Arts Centre of Clarington is pleased to present its first iteration of the Loft Gallery Commissions, Trans/mission: Barley-Corn-Maize, an installation by Ron Benner.
The Visual Arts Centre of Clarington (VAC) occupies a 1905 historic barley mill that once operated 24 hours a day, producing barley products that were sold across Canada, the U.S.A. and Commonwealth countries. In the 1950s the mill closed its doors due to low demand for barley products and the popularity of prepared cereals. After functioning as a drop-in centre, the building was repurposed into the Visual Arts Centre of Clarington in 1976. Many features of the space offer clues to the buildings long history; its architecture, carved initials and dates in various places, heavy concrete walls, and a rustic loft gallery. 2019 marks the first time the VAC invites an artist to create an annual site-specific installation in the Loft Gallery that responds to the VAC’s site and history.
Trans/mission: Barley-Corn-Maize is Ron Benner’s mixed media installation in response to the mill as a producer of barley. Benner has devoted his artistic career to researching the economics of food and the impacts of contemporary industrialized food systems. His installations often offer visual accounts of his extensive investigation to trace back the root origin of our food and finding its migration rooted in colonialism and imperialism. Concerned with seed circulation and farming methods, local community and globalization, Benner’s work provides a unique and critical perspective on essential elements of modern food systems. The installation will open on Sunday, January 20, 2019.