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Examining recent revelations concerning the widespread tax avoidance of Canadian corporations, the National Gall exhibition poses the question: what lies hidden behind corporate “gifts” to major museums and cultural institutions?

The exhibition specifically addresses financial networks of some of the largest corporations in the extractive sector headquartered in Canada, including Barrick Gold (Toronto); Husky Energy (Calgary); Imperial Oil (Calgary), and Enbridge (Calgary). While these corporations are notorious for many things, less well known are the shell companies —companies or corporations existing solely on paper— that connect Canadian headquarters to offshore jurisdictions. In French, a shell company is called “société écran,” literally: a screen company. What are the forms of transparency and opacity, the visible donations and the hidden transactions, that characterize corporate influence from extractive industries today?

National Gall

September 30–October 4, 2019
Art & Media Lab, Isabel Bader Centre, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON
Video installation with two spotlights, assorted cellophane and acetate sheets, and network graph prints on acetate
Special thanks to Cameron Miller and Elvira Hufschmid