Ulrike Veith / Post Human (Billboard Project)
September 14 – October 29, 2022
Cinq à Sept Reception: Friday, October 14th, 5-7pm. Cash bar, snacks provided.
Billboard at 424, 20th St W, Saskatoon, SK
Ulrike Veith takes a satirical approach to the difficult topic of humanity facing extinction.
In the human-made ecological crisis, Veith asserts that we are behaving as if a “Planet B” were available to us once the Earth’s eco-systems are totally destroyed. At the current rate of Canadian consumption, for example, we would need 5 earths to sustain us (see the Geneva Environment Network for facts and figures). Rather than tackling the problem, humanity cannot come to a consensus that there is a problem, what can be done to mitigate the crisis, and who will pay the costs. A few billionaires are currently undertaking futile flights into space, but for the rest of us this is a toxic diversion.
In Post Human, she gives us a surreal domestic scene in which nature is re-asserting its possession of the previous human living space. The project has two components: an image of a domestic scene is combined with real estate advertising for people who want to move to “Planet B.” The billboard railing allows for the creation of a balcony space with a floating living room, assembled using tiny miniature objects which are then drastically enlarged across the billboard space. Overall, the image is surrealistic, juxtaposing natural and domestic elements in a dreamlike manner. Real estate advertising is a key element in the image’s narrative, as it alerts us to the “opportunities” on Planet B and the satirical proposition that off-world migration is alerady underway. The advertising posters are placed along the exterior of the balcony, parodying the familiar practices of current real estate companies.
In 1995, Ulrike Veith started working at the Art Gallery of Prince Albert (1995–2003) as the Director/Curator and effectively “paused” her artistic pursuit of photography. After retiring from her subsequent position of Program Officer, Cultural Development at the Department of Canadian Heritage (2004–2016), Veith decided to take the leap and study digital photography as part of a post baccalaureate certificate program at the University of Regina.