Great North
Development Group

The basis of this project has been the creation of a fictitious corporation, entitled Great North Development Group. Under this parent corporation I have created five subsidiary companies: Mining, Oil & Gas, Forestry, Communications, and Engineering. The project/installation was conceived and developed to be presented as a typical booth configuration commonly found at Trade Shows. The Great North trade show booth set-up consists of, an 8 x 10 booth backdrop, a podium with a laptop computer for browsing the Great North website, 10 hand-held stereoscopic viewers that sit on the shelf of the accompanying light-box and depict 3-dimensional photographs of various company sites (which are actually dioramas that have been constructed using scale model toys, earth and modeling materials and painted sky backdrops), framed share certificates, and rack cards offering investment opportunities.

Great North Development Group is an innovative and multidisciplinary artist's project that employs various strategies, including aspects of performance and public intervention that serve to heighten the ambiguity surrounding the authenticity of the corporation. Through public forums and actions - advertisements in regional newspapers, preliminary site surveying for the construction of a bridge in Dawson, Internet sites, the booth rental at two regional Industry Trade Shows where Great North was situated amongst legitimate companies, and the selling and issuing of shares - the project engages the general public outside of a traditional gallery context.

While parodying and critiquing the assumptions, tactics and promises of many development corporations, Great North - a veneer of believability -remains illusive, exploring the complexities and contradictions in our relationship to the land and in the activities that signify it.

Great North
all text and images © mike yuhasz 2014.