Oracle Brand

1997

 

collaboration with Evelyn Von Michalofski

 

Oracle Brand addressed the contradictions at work in one of Canada’s most prominent national park sites where nature meets tourist mecca. Our masquerade was twofold: as historic figures wearing turn-of-the-century Victorian style bathing suits, referring to the founding of Banff through the ‘discovery’ of the mystical hot springs; as modern day soothsayers carrying ‘sales’ cases filled with promises of prophecy, referring to the rash of profitable development that followed the commercial opening of the springs. The promised prophecies were ‘oracles’ wrapped up with small bars of soap; the seductive wrapping, covered with divination descriptions and scented sweetly, acted as a foil for the actual ‘oracles’ contained within – warnings about the dire ecological and cultural impact of tourism on the region.

 

 


 

 


 

media: costumes, valise, soap bars, oracle text

 

Curated by Kathryn Walter for “Private Investigators: Undercover in Public Space” exhibition, Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, Alberta. Commissioned by Walter Phillips Gallery.