B.C. Binning Gallery
Corbin Union is a Vancouver- and Calgary-based artist collective that has gathered annually since 2012 in the deserted East Kootenay coal-mining town of Corbin, BC to create both individual and collaborative works. Under a conceptual framework of excavation and entombment, mirroring and refraction, the collective’s three core members — Miruna Dragan, Jason de Haan and Warren McLachlan — bring together a range of interwoven experimental object and image forms in OSOSO.
Central to the exhibition is an expansive installation informed by the vernacular architecture of Corbin’s original townsite, its alpine graveyard and surrounding natural and industrial landscapes, particularly the now-abandoned Coal Mountain pit mine operation. This installation, with its suggestion of underground ossuaries, extraction sites and mausoleums, transforms the gallery into a labyrinthine space and offers the housing for a multitude of other standalone video, sound, cast paper, and sculptural works. In their insistence on multiplicity, the collective confounds viewers’ easy image consumption, offering instead a dark, askance glimpse into experiences of materials, site and space. OSOSO extends the collective’s ongoing, place-based examination of violent and often hidden histories of resource extraction, environmental destruction and immigrant labour unrest; the folly of the settler paradigm; and the movement of matter and populations (both human and non) across geological time.
Co-curated by Julia Lamare and Kimberly Phillips
The artists gratefully acknowledge the support of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Alberta University of the Arts, Calgary Arts Development, Canada Council for the Arts, and Denbigh Fine Arts.
Corbin Union (founded in 2012) is an artist collective comprised of core members Miruna Dragan, Jason de Haan and Warren McLachlan, working site-responsively to the ghost town of Corbin, BC on the unceded lands of the Sinixt, Ktunaxa, Secwepemc, and Syilx Nations. Past Corbin Union projects have been presented at Museo de la Ciudad de Querétaro (2019); Unit/Pitt, Vancouver (2016); Untitled Art Society, Calgary (2015); Bond House Projects, London, UK (2013); and Easts St. Arts, London, UK (2013). In 2021 Corbin Union will present a new iteration of OSOSO at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Querétaro (MACQ), accompanied by a monograph co-published by CAG and MACQ.
Miruna Dragan (Bucharest, 1975) is a multidisciplinary artist settled in Mohkinstsis/Calgary on traditional Blackfoot and Metis lands since 2009. Exhibition venues include u’s, Diamond Valley (2020); Living Art Museum, Reykjavík (2019); Museo de la Ciudad de Querétaro (2019); Blackwood Gallery at University of Toronto (2018); Nickle Galleries at University of Calgary (2017); Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge (2016); Nanaimo Art Gallery (2015); G Gallery, Toronto (2014); Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton (2013); Esker Foundation, Calgary (2013); Museo de la Ciudad de Querétaro (2012); Kyber ICA, Halifax (2011); and Truck Contemporary Art, Calgary (2010). Dragan received an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2001 and is Associate Professor at Alberta University of the Arts.
Jason de Haan (Edmonton, 1981) is a multidisciplinary artist settled in Mohkinstsis/Calgary on traditional Blackfoot and Metis lands. de Haan received an MFA from Bard College, NY in 2015. Exhibition venues include u’s, Diamond Valley (2020); Kling & Bang, Reykjavík (2019); Clint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto (2018); Esker Foundation, Calgary (2017); MASS MoCA, North Adams (2016); De Fabriek, Eindhoven (2016); Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton (2016); Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (2014); Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax (2014); Oakville Galleries (2012); and Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge (2012). de Haan’s work has been reviewed in Canadian Art Magazine, Art in America and Artforum, and in 2020 he was co-awarded the Sobey Art Award representing the Prairies and the North.
Warren McLachlan (Calgary, 1975) is a multidisciplinary artist settled on the unceded ancestral territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam Nations. McLachlan received an MA from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, UK in 2007 and a BFA from Alberta College of Art and Design in 2001. Exhibition venues include Burnaby Art Gallery (2020); Museo de la Ciudad de Querétaro (2019); CSA Space, Vancouver (2018); Field Contemporary, Vancouver (2017); Unit/Pitt Façade, Vancouver (2016); The Tetley, Leeds, UK (2014); Supermarket Kulturhuset, Stockholm (2011); Cell Project Space, London, UK (2010); and Manton Lightbox, Tate Britain (2008). McLachlan curated exhibitions and events as a member of Dynamo Arts Association, Vancouver from 2012 – 2020.