Jason de Haan
Swallow All the Brain

Installation shot of Swallow All the Brain, six humidifiers on six concrete plinths, with fossils pluging the nozzles.
Jason de Haan, Swallow all the Brain, 2015. Brachiopod, clam, and ammonite fossils, ultrasonic humidifiers, cast aggregate concrete plinths.

Fossils ranging in age from tens of thousands to hundreds of millions of years old—found in the fossil-fertile landscapes of Alberta and South Dakota—are perched on the spouts of black ultrasonic humidifiers. Electricity, often generated from sources similar in origin to the fossils (coal, oil, etc.), compels the mass-produced domestic machines—originally designed to assist breathing—to break down the remains of ancient creatures. Cool mist caresses the form of the fossils and, through assisted erosion, disperses ancient mineral particles of the once-living form into, and beyond, the exhibition space.

Artist bio:

Jason de Haan (1981) is a multidisciplinary Canadian artist. He received an MFA (Sculpture) from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, in 2014. Recent solo exhibitions include the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax (2014); Clint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto (2014); Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery (2014); Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge (2012); and Museo de la Ciudad, Querétaro, Mexico (2012). Group exhibitions include Scrap Metal, Toronto (2014); Bond House Projects, London (2013); Oakville Galleries (2012); Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Toronto (2011); MOLAF, Bergen (2011); Art Gallery of Alberta (2010); and Kling & Bang, Reykjavik (2009). de Haan has participated in the Arctic Circle 2012 residency and the “The Soiree Retreat” thematic residency, Banff Centre (2011), and is a founding member of the Corbin Union Residency in Corbin, BC, a ghost town in the East Kootenays, Canada. Upcoming exhibitions include the Art Gallery of Alberta; de Fabriek, Eindhoven, The Netherlands; and MASS MoCA, North Adams. de Haan has been awarded grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and in 2012 was shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award, representing the Prairies and the North. His work has been reviewed in Canadian Art Magazine, Art in America and Art Forum. He is represented by Clint Roenisch Gallery.