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wish you were here

13 Jan – 17 Feb 2007

Brendan Fernandes is multidisciplinary artist who examines issues of cultural displacement and migration through installation. His current work, Wish You Were Here, explores tourism and how sensationalized vacations, such as safaris, contribute to the exploitation of cultures by transforming them into entertainment. Grounded in post-colonial theory, his work unpacks the manufacturing of culture, including the numerous ideologies that surround the souvenir, the idea of the exotic and the experience of travel as fantasy. Conspicuously, his work represents an investigation into the concept of “authenticity” as an ideological construct that both dominant and subordinate cultures use to their own ends, each shaping cultural experience, thereby informing concepts of identity, including his own.

 Brendan Fernandes was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, and immigrated to Canada in the early 1990s. In 2005, he completed his Master of Fine Arts at the University of Western Ontario, and his Honours Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2002 at York University. His art has helped him to receive numerous awards and scholarships including: The Tim Whiten Award and The Jack Bush Painter's Scholarship. In the past he has taught Print Media and Foundation Studies in the Department of Visual Arts at The University of Western Ontario. Currently Fernandes is a participant in the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Fernandes continues to produce and show his work both nationally and internationally.