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The new Gallery

Kotama Bouabane
We'll Get There Fast and Then We'll Take It Slow. 

Exhibition dates: February 23-March 31
Opening reception: February 23, at 8PM

We'll get there fast and then we'll take it slow examines the relationship between object and image through an experimental ethnographic approach. Taking its title from the Beach Boys 1988 song "Kokomo", which describes a lush fictional island off of the Florida Keys, the exhibition similarly explores the construction of tropical non-places – ones that exist only in the North American middle-class imaginary – through numerous familiar tropes in travel photography. Just as Kokomo becomes a stand in for all island locals, images featuring palm trees, coconuts or dewy cocktails conjure ideas of exotic escapes, leisure and luxury. The accumulation of coconut imagery destabilizes an easy or unified reading of the coconut as symbol. The coconut appears again, humorously out of context mounted to the end of a selfie stick as Bouabane poses with tourists at a lookout on a mountain hike in Banff. The wide-open and pristine mountain expanse captured in the background of these images is often used to depict Canada in postcards and travel brochures, and potently portrays the landscape as a sight for leisure. The absurdity of recreating the familiar gesture with the coconut camera underscores the seemingly bottomless human desire to document and locate ourselves in relation to place, and foregrounds the complacent roll of photography in fostering economies of leisure and travel. 

Gallery hours: Tuesday-Friday, 12-6PM


The New Gallery
208 Centre Street SE
Calgary, AB T2G 2B6