For Seth Fluker, Blueberry Hill is a private reckoning with the Canadian landscape. Comprised of photographs made between 2013 – 2017, this body of work is shaped by his personal impression of contemporary Canada. Each photograph contains the quiet discourse of time passed, a visual reflection on the vagaries of memory and self discovery.
Located on billboards in downtown Toronto and across the country, Fluker’s photography provides a respite from advertising, and an opportunity for viewers to meditate on notions of land, national identity, and sense of place.
Framed within black borders, singular photographs are accompanied by simple captions disclosing the landscape’s location, and reflect the style of his photo books, which are similarly minimal and refined. Horizontal and vertical orientations are placed adjacent to one another, creating diptychs with beautiful filmic effects. The placement of Fluker’s billboards defy locality, allowing viewers to visually access distant and sometimes remote spaces of the country. Their visual displacement creates a dissonant dialogue with their urban surroundings yet speaks to their site specificity.
Sculpted figures of the Drumheller Hoodoos and the Hopewell Rocks— naturally eroded rock formations captured in the Alberta Badlands and Bay of Fundy—are placed above a car wash in Toronto, providing a playful metaphor on the effects of water and erosion. Fluker’s photograph of tire tracks left behind on a melting snowbank in Toronto is placed above a tire shop in Vancouver, revealing his interest in textures and topographical forms. In Ottawa, three photographs of icicles attached to a cliff in Whistler are placed within the space of two billboards, creating a scene that exposes Fluker’s movements and documentation process. Hail ricocheting off of the Elbow River in Calgary is captured in a sequence of five photographs; their placement together allows for a nuanced look at the river’s currents and subtly changing colours. Located above the AKA Artist Run Centre in Saskatoon, the quintet is flanked by four other photographs of Alberta’s diverse terrain.
Transit is a consistent theme within Blueberry Hill, with highways and roads making frequent appearances. In downtown Toronto at Landsdowne Ave and Dundas St, above a car dealership, Fluker placed photographs taken from the vantage point of a vehicle while driving past agricultural fields in Alberta. A sense of movement and immense solitude lingers in his triptych of a semi-opaque sun glowing through the plain’s curtained sky. The three billboards in Winnipeg are a nod to the city’s nickname, “Gateway to the West,” by featuring various western-leaning mountains along the Trans-Canada Highway.
Throughout nine cities, thirty-two unique billboards provide a glimpse into the ongoing relationship between the artist and his country.
_ Supported by PATTISON Outdoor Advertising and Nikon Canada