Hannah Rickards

One can make out the surface only by placing any dark-coloured object on the ground

Opening reception: November 1, 8pm

Hannah Rickards’ video installation shows two performers interacting with photographic materials on a large soundstage. The barely-discernable images on the scattered papers are drawn from early scientific photographs depicting celestial phenomena and geological surfaces. Rickards’ forty-minute video is decidedly non-narrative, and never settles on a fixed perspective. The title aptly describes the difficulty of navigating white-out conditions in a snowy landscape without visible horizon lines. Accompanying the projection is a screen print that maps the movements made by the camera rig as the video is being shot. In a display case are various artefacts and documents that refer to intangible natural phenomena such as wind erosion and weather conditions. Rickards works with the languages of film, drawing and performance to map conditions of uncertainty. She explores the non-linear fluidity between site, gesture, and staging  in order to tease out the mysteries of the unseen.

Hannah Rickards’ practice explores the fluid, non-linear dynamic between site, gesture, staging and recording integrating elements of the language of performance, film, drawing and installation. Rickards has held solo exhibitions at Modern Art Oxford, the Fogo Island Gallery,  Artspeak, The Whitechapel Gallery and The Showroom Gallery, London. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; the Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton; ICA, London and Witte de With, Rotterdam, and in the Hayward Gallery’s touring exhibition, Listening. She received the Max Mara Art Prize for Women in 2008, the Phillip Leverhulme Prize in Visual and Performing Arts in 2015, and in 2018 she was awarded the Nigel Greenwood Art Prize.











The Elephant Trust


Tours of One can make out the surface only be placing any dark-coloured object on the ground will be hosted every Saturday at 2PM. To join the tour, meet at the ground floor lobby at 1:55PM. These tours are recommended for general visitors as an introduction to the exhibition.

For a more tailored experience, visitors are encouraged to book a private guided tour with a member of our curatorial team. For more information about private tours, visit the Contact Us page, or email tours@thepolygon.ca.


Wednesday, November 21 | Artist Talk with Hannah Rickards


Artist/Director: Hannah Rickards

Commissioned and Produced: Victoria Brooks / Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Performers: Catriona James, Ted Schmitz

Director of Photography: Ryan Jenkins

Sound Design and Mix: Phillippe Ciompi

Production Coordinator: Asta Meldal Lynge

Technical Director: Eric Lin

Audio Engineer: Stephen McLaughlin

Lighting Director and 1st AC: Alena Samoray

Lead Video Engineer: Eric Brucker

Video Engineer: Mick Bello

Director of Stage Technologies: Geoff Abbas

Colourist: Jason R. Moffat

Rehearsal Performers: Catriona James, Ted Scmitz, Jordan Macintosh-Hougham, Jack Magai

Rehearsal Camera: Edward Tucker, Asta Meldal Lynge

Rehearsal Production Assistant: Nina Davies, Madeleine Hayter

With thanks to Ben Duncan and Justin Muir at Malaspina Printmakers for their collaboration in the production of the screen print.


Image: Hannah Rickards, still from One can make out the surface only by placing any dark-colored object on the ground, 2017, video installation

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