Canadian First World War


Turchin Center for the Visual Arts

Turchin Center for the Visual Arts


MARIA: Lesia Maruschak

Exhibition begins: Friday, March 6, 2020
Exhibition Celebration: Friday, March 6, 2020 (6:00pm – 10:00pm)
Exhibition ends: Saturday, August 1, 2020
Venue: Mayer Gallery

Men, women and children, branded as “enemy aliens”, interned behind barbed wire under armed guard, their properties lost or confiscated, forced to heavy labor in Canada’s heavily forested wilderness. These are the traumatic memories of the ethnocultural communities affected by Canada’s 1914-1920 first national internment operations, of which I am a descendant.

WHITE SHADOWS is an installation from OH CANADA, seen for the first time at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. Maruschak created these works to trace the presence of others. These almost life size, blurry and indiscernible photographs are like palimpsests of the early immigrants to Canada and those imprisoned at Canadian World War One internment camps. Maruschak introduces us to them using their faces, eyes, hands and the places they inhabited. They are unknow to us and as we discover them they move to inhabit our memories.

They hang from the atrium ceiling, floating silk panels, like echoes or vibrations. Installed so as to immerse visitors, they fray the boundary between the audience and the work, between the self and the other, between the past and now. They are white, as if white noise, easy to forget, ignore. With movement they enter and disappear from our reality as do memories. Maruschak invites the audience to sit among the panels and forge new relationships with the past and the world around us.

Maruschak is a grant recipient from the First World War Internment Recognition Fund and her work on OH CANADA is sponsored by the Fund.