Fit or unfit – survey exhibition shows all

Visual arts Professor Nell Tanhaaf (below) loves the challenge of melding disparate worlds. The basis of her art is artificial life, or “a-life.” To appreciate her creations, the viewer has to be subjective rather than objective – the antithesis of scientific practice. Tenhaaf feels that this is a way art can become part of the scientific world.

Tenhaaf’s latest exhibition of electronic media creations is about to open in Oshawa. The following account about the exhibition was submitted by the Faculty of Fine Arts.

The exhibit of  Tenhaaf’s electronic media creations, including lightboxes and interactive installations, opens Sunday, April 13, at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa. “Fit/Unfit: A Survey Exhibition” includes work she has produced over more than 15 years and examines relationships between digital technologies and the bio-sciences, merging mythological prototypes with rationalist models.

Tenhaaf’s work points to the artistic potential in philosophical perceptions and scientific findings. This cross-disciplinary dialogue has been continually examined and refined in her practice since the mid-1980s..

Right: Nell Tenhaaf’s “Orphaned Life-Form”, 1995

The exhibition runs to June 15, with the official opening April 13, 1-3pm. McLaughlin Gallery is located in the Civic Centre in downtown Oshawa at 72 Queen St. (at Bagot St.). For more information, visit or call 905-576-3000. A catalogue will be available, with an interview between Nell Tenhaaf and Dot Tuer and an essay by Kim Sawchuk.

After Oshawa, the exhibition will travel to the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery in Owen Sound and the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery in Montreal.