Vinland, Fralin Museum, University of Virginia, 2014
Vinland, Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, June 27 – August 31, 2014
Curated by Jennifer Farrell
Vinland, a new project by the Los Angeles-based artist Cindy Bernard, is a meditation on the complex and continually shifting relationships between spaces, social and economic structures, and personal and collective histories. Drawn from trips to Newfoundland, accounts of her family’s links to the area, and depictions of the region in literature and film, the work reflects Bernard’s ongoing interest in memory, landscape, the production of space, and the construction of social exchanges. Bernard uses contemporary interviews and archival materials to reflect on her family’s history, the French Shore, and, in a larger sense, issues of migration and place. A series of photographs depicts twenty-six structures comprising Beaches, a community settled by descendants of the Langford family who immigrated to Newfoundland from England in 1774, and eventually founded a sawmill in Brown’s Cove, a now-abandoned outpost. Maps document shifting conceptions of physical and national borders, as well as local industries, such as fishing and lumber. Bernard responds to legacies of displacement and industrialization by focusing on one of the area’s major exports, newsprint, and its journey from lumber gathered in remote areas of Newfoundland to newspapers produced on continents thousands of miles away.