Ottawa – Wundermärchen : Amalie Atkins (expo)

Ottawa – Wundermärchen : Amalie Atkins (expo)

Central Art Garage
66 B Lebreton St. North, Ottawa, Ontario K1R7H4


Central Art Garage is pleased to present
Wundermächan an exhibition of photographs by Amalie Atkins
Curated by Leah Taylor

Wundermärchen brings together a series of photographic stills from Amalie Atkins’ ongoing body of films titled, we live on the edge of disaster and imagine we are in a musical. This exhibition provides glimpses into Atkins’ secret, fictional world that is fluid in both time and space, a world created by reconstructing, altering and exaggerating autobiographical events until they take the shape of Wundermärchen. A German term, Wundermärchen translates to “wonder tale.”

Wundermärchen was “adopted by the Romantics in Germany and the Russian folklorists to characterise the folk tale or fairy tale.” 1

Using a large format field camera, Atkins captured both staged and spontaneous moments from the film sets, allowing for liminal spaces or meta-narratives to organically develop from her original script. Each photograph contains two distinct elements: raw prairie landscape, and brightly uniformed characters, coalescing to reveal complex issues of the human condition such as survival, strength, loss, anxiety and resistance. With an all-female cast of characters, Atkins’ nonlinear, intertwining storylines investigate memories, matriarchy, history, folklore and family. From the roller skating army of Valkyries and the Two-Headed Sister, to stoic Aunt Agatha, sisterhood emanates from every image. The oral histories passed down from Atkins’ mother, grandmother and great-grandmother are integral to her narratives.

Wundermärchen explores Atkins continuum of interpretations created from her familial stories, linking the present to the past.

1 Marina Warner, Wonder Tales, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux,1996. p.3

Leah Taylor, Curator