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Brendan Fernandes: Still Life 

Take a break for once with Fernandes’ Still Life

Sackville Landing
Zone 2, exhibit 200

Brendan Fernandes is a multi-disciplinary artist with a downright unique perspective on movement and identity–it's no wonder he's preoccupied by notions of bodies, in motion and at rest. Fernandes was born in Nairobi, Kenya, to a Goan, Indian family and moved to Toronto in 1989. These days, he is always traveling, splitting his time and his artistic practice between Toronto and Brooklyn. In his most recent work, Fernandes uses language to explore the relationship between bodily movement and identity.

Fernandes' Sackville Landing installation will direct viewers to do something, or, more accurately, it will direct viewers to do absolutely nothing. Still Life will attempt to create a space of motionlessness in the midst of a busy city. The installation will consist of a road construction LED sign that confronts viewers with the written imperative "Stop Stand and Be Still." The artist says that stillness goes unappreciated in contemporary urban culture and constant movement is the metropolis' modus operandi. "To stand in stillness can be considered idle; waiting without apparent purpose," says Fernandes. "Bodies in urban spaces are asked to move constantly, to have constant purpose."

In contrast to perpetual motion, Fernandes' Still Life acknowledges the value of stillness and asks viewers to acknowledge and experience it for themselves.

"It is a contemplative and meditative work that asks one to slow down and acknowledge their being and body," he says, "in a urban space that is constantly moving."

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