What Was Will Be

Christina Battle, dearfield, colorado , still from media installation, 2012

Christina Battle, dearfield, colorado, still from media installation, 2012

Kristie MacDonald, Machine for Correcting the Past (detail), Found image, Projector, Electronics, Table, 2013

Kristie MacDonald, Morehead Kentucky Flash Flood, digital c-print, 2013

dearfield, colorado, installation view at G44, photo by Morris Lum

dearfield, colorado, installation view at G44, photo by Morris Lum

Mechanisms for Correcting the Past, installation view at G44, photo by Morris Lum

Mechanisms for Correcting the Past, installation view at G44, photo by Morris Lum

What Was Will Be

Friday, January 10, 2014 to Saturday, February 15, 2014
January 10,
6:00PM to 8:00PM
About the Exhibition: 

Through the lens of archives from early to mid 20th century, Kristie MacDonald and Christina Battle present us with evocative media installations based on natural disasters. Eerily, these records from the past seem to act more as prophecy in our current context of global climate change.

What Was Will Be brings together MacDonald's series Mechanisms for Correcting the Past and Battle's project dearfield, colorado

Mechanisms for Correcting the Past   

My practice is inspired by the phenomena of recollection, remembrance and forgetting which drive the human urge to collect, memorialize and revisit material culture. My work engages notions of the archive and the collection in order to explore the complex evolving meanings and contextual histories of images and artifacts. Over the past several years I have developed a practice that incorporates elements of sculpture, print media, and installation. My work often appropriates decontextualized images and objects such as letters, notes and photographs, in order to explore historical and fictitious narratives. I am interested in these everyday objects as sites that embody very specific instances of use and ownership – while also representing a collective experience. 

dearfield, colorado

Inspired by the archive, especially the contrast generated between official and non-official sources (ie: the public), many of my works are interested in notions of evidence and in considering how the ways in which we document our experiences may shift our understandings of history, and in turn our contemporary experience.  Strongly rooted in the research process and often incorporating a number of media, my work is often presented spatially as a way to introduce multiple elements of a larger narrative.

In an attempt to tease out threads between the past, present and future, I approach many of my works by imagining particular events at some point in the not-so-distant-future.  While I take a particular interest in disasters (both natural and political), I’m not interested in visualizing the disasters themselves as much as in shaping a narrative that imagines the moments just after disaster has struck. I’m curious about the power disasters have to unite across economic, geographic and political boundaries, and their ability to disrupt and pull us out of the linear timeline. Whether man-made or natural, disasters often have the ability to force us to stop. To reset. To reconsider. 


This exhibition is presented as part of the Toronto Design Offsite Festival

Artist Biography: 

Originally from Edmonton, Alberta (Canada), Christina Battle is currently based in Denver, Colorado. Her film, video and installation works are often inspired by the role of non-official archives and our notions of evidence, and explore themes of history and counter-memory, political mythology and environmental catastrophe. She has exhibited internationally in festivals and galleries including The Images Festival (Toronto), The London Film Festival (London, England), The Toronto International Film Festival (wavelengths), the Festival du Nouveau Cinema (Montreal), The International Film Festival Rotterdam (Netherlands), the JihlavaDocumentary Festival (Czech Republic), the 2006 Whitney Biennial: “Day for Night” (New York), YYZ Artists’ Outlet (Toronto), Mount Saint Vincent Art Gallery (Halifax, NS), EspaceVirtuel (Chicoutimi QC), White Box (New York), Deluge Contemporary Art (Victoria, BC), The Foreman Art Gallery (Sherbrooke, QC), MCA Denver; the Aspen Art Museum; and the Ryerson Image Centre (Toronto).

Kristie MacDonald is a visual artist, archivist and writer who lives and works in Toronto, Ontario. She holds a BFA from York University specializing in Visual Arts (2008), and an MI from the University of Toronto specializing in Archival Studies (2011). She has recently exhibited her work at Open Studio, Artlab Gallery, the University of Toronto Arts Centre, and Xpace Cultural Centre.


Caoimhe Morgan-Feir is a Toronto-based art critic and winner of the 2013 Frieze International Writer's Prize. Her writing has appeared in The Journal of Curatorial Studies, Magenta, esse arts + opinions, and PUBLIC. She is a founding editor of KAPSULA, a digital publication for experimental art writing.