A third mysterious object or fossil, as they are being called, has appeared in downtown Kelowna – this time on Bernard Ave. It was first noticed by pedestrians walking along the southern edge of Kerry Park, who saw something strange attached to a light post. At first glance it looks similar to the previous fossil that appeared a few weeks ago between the Kelowna Art Gallery and the RCA – an industrial-looking capsule that contains objects sealed within. Inside this one is what appears to be a fragment of the Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
It certainly raises a number of troubling questions. How is it possible that this fragment and the real version in The Louvre can coexist? What happens in the future to cause such destruction – and what would a future without any art be like?
Over the next few months pedestrians will continue to come across these intriguing and mysterious objects that have attached themselves to light standards or other structures. With each one – observers will find a metal label located nearby that offers information specific to that piece and also a question or suggestion for how they might engage further. People are encouraged to use the hashtag #futurefossils and to join the conversation – snap a photo, tweet about it, post on Facebook, or even film their own video. To help with this, a website has been constructed at kelownaartgallery.com/futurefossils, which will feature video clips, clues, and a dedicated page populated with #futurefossils conversation feeds from social media sites.
The latest capsule is the third of nine pieces comprising an ongoing temporary public art project entitled Fossils from the Future. It is being produced by Okanagan-based artist Johann Wessels, and is presented by the Kelowna Art Gallery.
Johann Wessels’ work has been exhibited widely in South Africa, in the UK, and throughout the Okanagan. Wessels is also the artist who created Side Show, an installation at the Kelowna International Airport that ran from November 2014 to May 2015. He is a mature artist with decades of experience, who is also highly creative, skilled, and talented.