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Claudia Hart is a Berlin-based artist whose recent projects are a pastiche of illustrations derived from children's books and writing from various influential texts which explore how individuals compromise themselves within systems of power. These projects have been realized both in the form of exhibitions and published books.
For the Contemporary Art Gallery, Hart is presenting a new series of thirty-two gouache paintings on paper entitled Dr. Faustie's Guide to Real Estate Development plus a new video projection entitled Face Dancing. In Dr. Faustie, as in her earlier work, she tackles the theme of evil and the ways in which people ingratiate and adapt themselves to power. It synthesizes various sources, among them Faust, Parts I and Il by Goethe; Goethe and His Age by George Lukacs; All That is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity by Marshall Berman; and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. With irony and humour, Hart interprets Carnegie's course as a dialogue between Mephisto and Faust that plays off the original Goethe text. This project is directly inspired by issues of real estate development, speculation and a pumped-up economy written about allegorically by Goethe in the early 19th century. Hart proposes that this example has its parallels in post-unification Berlin and post-Expo Vancouver.
Having exhibited widely in Europe and the United States, this is Claudia Hart's first exhibition in Canada.