Friday, July 23, 2010

Not Par for the Course: Miruna Dragan's Golf-Art Q&A in today's National Post

I have never played a round of golf, but talking with Miruna Dragan, I decide I really want to. Dragan is a Romanian-American artist who's lived in various world cities and is now based in Calgary, where she teaches at ACAD. She makes various types of work, but one series, The Fertile Void, caught my attention—it involves creating art installations on golf courses, often turning ribbons, bread and sod into striking graphic patterns. I spoke with her on the phone this week about that series, part of which is showing at Truck in Calgary. The condensed Q&A out in today's National Post. Here's an excerpt:

Q Why did you start doing art installations on golf courses?

A Golf courses are interesting sites. I've always thought of them as spiritual places. When I was younger and we passed by courses in the car, I felt like I was looking into some kind of heaven or afterlife. And it's funny, when I started researching this topic, I found lots of books like Golf and the Bhagavad Gita or Golf and the Koran.

But golf courses are also political sites, places where elite political decisions are made. One of my first projects was on the Diplomat's Golf Club course in Bucharest. Before the revolution, the general public wasn't allowed to play on this course; it was reserved for diplomats. So I found it an interesting site on which to make social and political commentary.

Basically, golf has a rich history that's rife with metaphors. You're almost an archetypal figure when you play; those 18 holes are like a hero's stages of initiation.

Later in the interview, Dragan talks about her most recent installation in Drumheller, Alberta, where the golf course manager actually went to ACAD and was quite supportive of the project. You can see more images of the series on Dragan's website and (including some of the latest work) in the print edition of today's Post.

(Image of Miruna Dragan's The Fertile Void III: H2O Isocahedron, 2005 courtesy of the artist)

No comments: