Anbarium, 2015

Installation view: Rare Earth, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, 2015, Photo: Jens Ziehe

Laser-etched titanium, neodymium, archival pigment print
15.2 x 13.2 cm (folded)
71.3 x 34.3 cm (unfolded)
Commissioned by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

Anbarium, 2015 has been commissioned by TBA21 for the exhibition Rare Earth at TBA21-Augarten.
This limited-edition artist’s book takes on the fundamental premise of mining on earth from the perspective of an alien intelligence. Reversing the origin myth that the gods should be worshiped as those who bequeath metals from heaven in the form of meteorites, this narrative presents the earth as a mining colony for resource extraction by extraterrestrial life. Each book includes a variety of strategies to tell the story, including excerpts from the master of the golden age of science fiction writing, H. P. Lovecraft; documentation of the artist burying a meteorite at the northernmost settlement on earth (a military spy station in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago); and photographs from other rare earth mining landscapes. The book interweaves archival documentation and contemporary contextualization to explore the issues of military colonization, technology manufacturing, land use, indigenous politics, exploration history, and the sublime landscape—all repeating motifs in Stankievech’s work. 
Charles Stankievech was born 1978 in Okotoks, Canada, and currently lives in Toronto. In his highly eclectic and conceptually driven art practice, Stankievech creates “fieldworks”: books, films, sound works, and sculptures influenced by science and stemming from extensive research. His works often possess a performative quality and evolve around what he calls “embedded landscape”: the landscape that shapes us as much as we shape it. Stankievech has exhibited in venues such as the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; International Symposium on Electronic Arts ISEA2010, Germany; Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany; Venice Architecture Biennale; NGBK + HKW, Berlin; SITE Santa Fe Biennial; Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montreal; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams. In 2011 he was the West Coast/Yukon finalist for the Sobey Art Award. Stankievech is professor in the faculty of architecture at the University of Toronto and codirector of K. Verlag in Berlin. His writings have been included in academic journals such as Leonardo Music Journal (MIT Press) and 306090 (Princeton Architectural Press).
*1978 in Okotoks, Canada | Living and working in Toronto, Canada