The Pond Secrets Are Drying in the Banks is a solo exhibition featuring photography, sculpture, installation, performance, and audio works by North Bay based artist, Alexander Rondeau. The exhibition considers the poetic, subtle impacts of a beaver dam collapse on a former logging site situated on the farm where he grew up in rural Northeastern Ontario. As an aggressively heteronormative space – and conflictingly, a deeply personal space – the beaver dam collapse at a logging site offers a unique opportunity to generate important dialogue about queer ecologies; an interdisciplinary approach to dismantling heteronormative understandings of nature and sexuality. Informed by writing on queer phenomenology, ecological theory, object oriented ontology, abstract bodies, and affect theory, The Pond Secrets Are Drying in the Banks considers the multifaceted socio-regional implications of the logging site and its debri, and a subsequent beaver dam.
Alexander Rondeau is a queer, Francophone, interdisciplinary artist and curator from rural Northeastern Ontario currently based in North Bay. Rondeau holds a BFA in Image Arts: Photography Studies from Ryerson University. His artistic practice is largely lens based hybridizing photography, performance, sculpture, and site specific interventions highlighting the impermanence of queerness as seen through the social and cultural histories embedded in objects, place, and his own body and the accelerated complexities at intersections thereof within rurality. Rondeau has had many exhibitions across Ontario – in 2017, he was a Featured and sponsored artist during the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. Shortly after, he participated in the Masters of Art and Design International Artist Residency in Sigulda, Latvia. Other residencies include Art Camp: Artist Residency for Emerging Artists, and the Queer + Trans Artist Residency, both in Toronto, 2016. Rondeau also has an active curatorial practice which centralizes alternative curatorial strategies for marginalized and underrepresented artists in Northern Ontario. In June 2018, he curated a large scale site specific exhibition in a forest featuring 15 artists from across the province. The exhibition centralized issues of identity in a Northern rural context including structural violence against Indigenous women, queer geographies and queer temporalities, and the harmful impacts of resource extraction based industries towards feminine bodies. Since May 2018, he has served as the Program Coordinator at the Near North Mobile Media Lab. Starting September 2019, he will be entering the Criticism & Curatorial Practice graduate program at OCAD University on a full scholarship.
This exhibition is made possible through the financial support of the City of Windsor Arts, Culture & Heritage Fund.