An Accident of Being
Why am I here rather than there, this rather than that? An accident of being makes me human and not the blind gelatinous subjectivity of the jellyfish. Yet, maybe we are all, as Freud suggested, still jellyfish propelling ourselves onward into death, whether human, sea creature, bird, insect, or plant. Death is inevitable; but not yet. In the meantime, our lives are blessed and beautiful, whether we are human or more-than-human. And while we live, we love:
All of us swim in the ocean of time, its waves lifting and carrying us into the unknown beyond. An Accident of Being imagines this journey all entities take as an unfolding metamorphosis of elements coming into being and dissolving again. Love cradles us as we are carried onward.
Project Type:Experimental, Short
Genres:Experimental, art house, video art
Runtime:6 minutes 36 seconds
Completion Date:June 13, 2017
Production Budget:0 USD
Country of Origin:Canada
Country of Filming:Canada
Roma Cinema DOC 2017Rome
Beijing International Short Film Festival 2017
Cefalu Film Festival 2018Palermo
Oregon Cinema Arts Festival 2018Portland, Oregon
August 17, 2018
Oregon Cinema Arts FestivalPortland
Lisa MacLean has an MFA in Studio Art and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies (Art History, English, and Sociology) from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. She has exhibited her art work and created installations locally, nationally, and internationally for many years and has been an artist in residence at institutions in Belgium, France, Turkey, and Italy. In addition to teaching in several post-secondary institutions in Canada and producing her own work, Lisa has curated a range of exhibitions and taken part in many collaborative projects. Spanning a variety of disciplines including digital media, photography, video, and mixed media installation, her practice confronts concerns related to cultural and natural history, gender, landscape and the body, architectural space, the environment, and memory.
SELECTED EXHIBITIONS & SCREENINGS
2020 Buenos Aires International Film Festival, (Juried) Buenos Aires, Argentina
2020 New York Independent Film Festival, (Juried) New York, USA
2020 ALC Videoart Festival, (Juried) Alicante, Spain
Artist’s Choice, (Invited), Art Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Film Festival Senior Movie, (Juried). Szczecin, Poland.
Semi-Finalist Los Angeles CineFest 2019, (Juried). Los Angeles, CA, USA
Film Festival Senior Movie, Szczecin, Poland, (Juried). Second Prize Winner.
60 Seconds or Less Video Festival, (Juried) Chesterton, USA
Oregon Cinema Arts Festival, (Juried) Portland, USA
San Mauro Film Festival, (Juried) Turin, Italy
Voices From the Waters, (Juried) Bangalore, India
Cefalù Film Festival, (Juried) Palermo, Italy
Roma Cinema DOC Film Festival (Juried) Rome, Italy
The Magical Mar (Invited), Art Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Short Film Festival of Biodiversity, Porto Real, Portugal
Beijing International Short Film Festival, Beijing, China
Focus 2017 (Invited), Grant Berg Gallery, Grande Prairie, AB
Roma Cinema DOC Film Festival (Juried), Rome, Italy.
Points of View, Peace Gallery North, Fort St John, BC.
60 Seconds or Less Video Festival, Chesterton, USA
Video production & projections for The Buddy Holly Story, Stage North, North Peace Cultural Centre, Fort St John, BC.
14th International Short & Independent Film Festival (Juried), Dhaka, Bangladesh
Semi-Finalist at Los Angeles Cine Fest, (Juried), Los Angeles, Ca.
Leicester City Film Festival, (Juried). Leicester, UK
Luminescence (Juried). Deer Lake Gallery, Burnaby, BC.
7th NYC Independent Film Festival (Juried), Producer’s Club Theatre, New York City, NY.
TrixXxiefest Art and Film Festival, (Juried). St John’s, NFL, Canada.
Semi-Finalist at the Best Short Fest, (Juried). Lanark County, Ontario, Canada
Semi-finalist at El Ojo Cojo International Film Festival, (Juried). Madrid, Spain.
LACDA 11 Year Anniversary Represented Artists Exhibit, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, California.
Access Code Short Film Festival, (Juried). Srinagar, India.
Burnaby Film Forum, (Juried). Burnaby, BC.
Winner Best Technical Achievement for The Fire Ceremony II: Metamorphosis.
Midnight Sun Art & Film Festival, (Juried). Sun Peaks, BC.
Urban Landscapes, Dundarave Gallery, Vancouver, BC.
Laura Reznek ‘Who Came Before Us’ CD Release Show, Renegade Studios, Vancouver. Video projections.
How Nice to Have A Hobby, Juried. Leigh Square Arts Village, Port Coquitlam, BC, Canada.
Electron Salon, Invited. Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Ca.
Turkish Ten painting exhibition, Cay Bahcesi, Gokcebel, Turkey.
BIMPE VIII Biennial International Exhibition, Juried. Federation Gallery and Dundarave Gallery, Vancouver, BC; UBCO Fine Art Gallery, Kelowna, BC, and SNAP Gallery, Edmonton, Alta.
Snap to Grid, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Los Angeles, Ca.
Heartfelt, Invited. Vancouver Print Room, Vancouver, BC.
The Dark of the Night, Juried. Photohaus Gallery, Vancouver, BC.
The Responsive Landscape, Juried. Harmony Arts Festival, West Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Art Afloat, Floating Home, Delta, BC, Canada.
Precarious Balance, Vancouver East Cultural Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Viernes de Dolores: An Altar for the Virgin of Dolores, installations and performance, Guanajuato, Mexico.
Right Before Her Very Eyes, Chancery Building of the Canadian Embassy, Santiago, Chile.
Agua Mexicana, performance, Hotelito Swiss Oasis, Puerto Escondido, Mexico.
Snap to Grid, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Los Angeles, Ca, USA
Amed Beach Tree Piece: Colour Therapy & Amed Beach Mandala/Rocky [Beach] Horror Picture Show, installations and collaborative performances, Amed, East Bali.
Text: 5th International Artists’ Book Triennial (Juried). Gallery Hübner Bokform, Halmstad, Sweden, Seoul International Book Arts Fair, Seoul, Korea and Venice, Italy.
Matrices 2010 (Juried) Danube Gallery, Budapest, Hungary; KAS Gallery, Budapest, Hungary; Hungarian Workshop Gallery, Budapest, Hungary; D-Court Gallery, Budapest, Hungary; FISE Gallery Budapest, Hungary.
DigitalArt.LA (Juried) Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Ca.
Memento Mori, Series of multi-media installations in ruined cave houses, Ibrahimpasa, Cappadocia, Turkey.
Plastic Goddesses, Series of multi-media installations and tomb projections in and around Kas, Turkey.
Theatrum Florae, Series of mixed-media installations in and around Gumusluk and Kadikalesi, Bodrum/Mugla, Turkey.
Text: 5th International Artists’ Book Triennial (juried). Leipzig Book Fair, Leipzig, Germany, Gallery “Arka”, Vilnius, Lithuania and Art Centre Silkeborg Bad, Silkeborg, Denmark.
Book of Hours (solo), Place Des Arts, Coquitlam, BC, Canada.
Snap to Grid 2007, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Los Angeles, Cal.
Contaminated Architectural Space (solo). Kootenay Museum of
Art, Science and History, Castlegar, BC.
Space/Time/Memory, Cityscape Gallery, North Vancouver, BC.
Defining Space Photography Exhibition, Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby.
Snap To Grid, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Los Angeles, Cal.
Quintessence, Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo, BC.
Beyond the Flesh Dress and Meat Brain: Fantasies of Biological Transcendence (solo). Port Moody Arts Centre, Port Moody, BC.
Rust, Glass Onion Gallery, Vancouver, BC.
Metropolism, Glass Onion Gallery, Vancouver, BC.
Artropolis, CBC Studios, Vancouver, BC.
Imprint, Nanaimo Art Gallery, Nanaimo, BC.
Triennial 100 Cities. Touring exhibition throughout Europe to 2003.
11th International Print Biennial Varna 2001, Varna, Bulgaria.
Fallen: Recent Photoworks (solo). Alternator Gallery, Kelowna, BC.
International Triennial of Graphic Art 2000 “Bridge to the Future”, Juried. Biuro Wystaw Artystycznych, Krakow, Poland and traveling.
Triennial Krakow-Nurnberg, Nurnberg, Germany.
International Print Exhibition “Graphic Constellation”, Szczecin, Poland.
Malaspina Printmakers Annual Exhibition, Seymour Art Gallery, North Vancouver, BC.
Landscape and Bodies: Recent Photoworks (solo). MPS Gallery, Vancouver, BC.
10th International Print Biennial Varna ‘99 (Juried). Graphic Art Gallery, Varna, Bulgaria.
12th Norwegian Print Triennial (Invited). Fredrikstad, Norway.
International Triennial - Rio De Janiero (Juried). Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
To Remain at a Distance (Juried). Open Space, Victoria, BC.
XV Bienal de Ibiza (Juried). Museu D’Art Contemporani D’Eivissa, Spain
Mini-Triennial Continents (Juried). Art Gallery BWA, Jelenia Gora, Poland.
International Triennial ‘97 - Cracow - Nuremberg (Juried). Fair Center Nuremberg, Germany.
In Situ: Contemporary Canadian Prints (Invited). McMullen Gallery, University of Alberta, Edmonton.
9th International Print Biennial - Varna 97 (Juried). City Art Gallery, Varna, Bulgaria.
Triennial 100 Cities (Invited). Touring exhibition throughout Poland organised by SMTG, Cracow, Poland.
International Print Triennial - Cracow (MTG ‘97) Biuro Wystaw Artystycznych, Krakow, Poland.
2nd International Triennial of Graphic Art (Invited). Art Gallery Bitola, Bitola, Republic of Macedonia.
8th International Exhibition of Portrait Drawings and Graphics. Invited. Tuzla Portrait Gallery, Bosnia.
Canadian Prints Down Under (Invited). Balmain Watch House Gallery, St. Peters, Australia and Impressions Gallery, Perth, Australia.
Identities, Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, B.C.
14th Bienal Ibizagrafic 96 (Juried). Museu D’Art Contemporani D’Eivissa, Ibiza, Spain.
Face, Open Studio’s Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Exhibition, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Ont. Station Art Centre, Whitby, Ont. and Atelier Circulaire, Montreal, P.Q.
3rd Kochi International Triennial Exhibition of Prints (Juried). Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan.
10th Seoul International Print Biennale (Juried). Il Min Cultural Centre, Seoul, Korea.
I Miedzynarodowe Biennale Raciborz ‘96, Galeria Zyhdi, Raciborz, Polska.
45th Annual Boston Printmakers North American Print Exhibition (Juried). Duxbury Art Complex Museum, Boston, Mass.
Small Prints ‘95 (Invited). Galerija Graficki Kolektiv, Beograd, Yugoslavia.
18th International Independante Exhibition of Prints in Kanagawa 95, Kanagawa Prefectural Gallery, Kanagawa, Japan.
Exhibition to Benefit Bosnia: “Seventh International Biennial Exhibition of Portrait Drawings and Graphics Tuzla ‘95” (Invited). Sponsored by Children in Crisis and Tuzla Portrait Gallery, Hamburg, Germany and Tuzla, Bosnia Herzegovina.
Malaspina Printmakers 20th Anniversary Exhibition, Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, B.C.
Print Types. Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas and Central College, Pella, Iowa.
Small Prints ’94 (Invited). Galerija Graficki Kolektiv, Beograd, Yugoslavia.
International Triennial of Graphic Art (Invited). Art Gallery Bitola, Bitola, Republic of Macedonia.
Opere Segnalate - Premio Internazionale Biella per L’Incisione. Accademia di Bella Arti, Bologna and Accademia Albertina di Bella Arti, Torino, Italy.
64 - 94 Contemporary Decades. Curated by Sam Carter. Charles H. Scott Gallery, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Vancouver, B.C.
Seattle Art Fair. Seattle, Wa.
5th Biennial Exhibition of Prints in Wakayama (Juried). Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama, Japan.
XII Premio Internazionale Biella per L’Incisione 1993 (Invited). Palazzo Ferrero della Marmora, Biella, Italy.
Canadian Artists to the Benefit of the Havel Foundation. Invited. Havel Foundation, Prague, Czech Republic.
New Work. Prior Editions, Vancouver, B.C.
Imagined Meaning, (solo). MPS Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.
Burgess/MacLean: Representation and the Iconic Image. Triangle Gallery, Calgary, Alta.
Ibizagrafic ‘92 (Juried). Museu d’Art Contemporani, Eivissa, Spain.
Faculty Show. Charles H. Scott Gallery, Emily Carr College of Art and Design, Vancouver, B.C.
Malaspina Printmakers Annual Members Show (Jurie). CACV Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.
New Work. Prior Editions, Vancouver, B.C.
Canada/China Cultural Exchange. Cultural Centre, Zuhai, China and travelling.
19th International Biennial of Graphic Art (Juried). Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia.
Malaspina Annual Members Show (Juried). CACV Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.
Four Solo Players. Open Studio Gallery, Toronto, Ont.
Medicine Hat Print Show 1991 (Juried). Travelling throughout Western Canada.
Fictional Narratives (solo). Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, B.C.
Fictional Narratives (solo). MPA Gallery, Winnipeg, Man.
Canadian Printmakers (Invited). Travelling exhibition throughout the United States curated by the Missouri Print Consortium.
5th International French Biennale (Juried). Forum des Cholettes, Paris, France.
5th International Triennial of Graphic Art (Juried). Pohjanmaan Museo, Vaasa, Finland.
6th International Biennial of Portrait Graphics and Drawings (Invited). Yugoslav Portrait Gallery, Tuzla, Yugoslavia.
Grabados Canadienses. Centre Internacional de Recerca Grafica, Calella, Spain and Centre Permanent D’Artesania de la Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.
Intergrafik ‘90J(Juried). Berlin, German Democratic Republic.
The Printed Figure. Canadian Cultural Centre, Rome, Italy.
Malaspina Printmakers: Contemporary Canadian Prints. Touring exhibition throughout Scotland.
Contemporary Prints. Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, B.C.
Malaspina Printmakers 15th Anniversary. Juried. Simon Fraser University Art Gallery, Burnaby, B.C.
Contemporary West Coast Prints. Windsor Printmakers Forum,Windsor, Ont.
18th International Biennial of Graphic Art. Juried. Museum
of Modern Art, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia.
Malaspina Printmakers in Peru. Instituto Culturale Peruano y Norteamericano, Lima, Peru.
Malaspina: Prints. Pohjanmaan Museo, Vaasa, Finland.
Fantasy Art Exhibition. Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, B.C.
Recent Acquisitions. Simon Fraser University Gallery, Burnaby, B.C.
Figure and Ground (Solo), Station Arts Centre, White Rock, B.C.
Lisa MacLean: Prints and Paintings (Solo), Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, B.C.
5th International Graphics Exhibition. Invited. Instituto per La Cultura e L’Arte, Catania, Italy.
12th International Biennial of Graphic Art. Juried. Biuro Wystaw Artystycznych, Krakow Poland and Katowice, Poland.
Graff Decembre 1988. Juried. Galerie Graff, Montreal, P.Q.
Malaspina Printmakers 1988 Annual. Juried. Simon Fraser University Gallery, Burnaby, B.C.
Medicine Hat Print Show 1988. Juried. Medicine Hat Cultural Centre and travelling.
Malaspina Printmakers: Select Prints. Juried. Travelling to the Grand Forks Art Gallery and the Langham Centre, Kaslo, B.C.
Lisa MacLean: Recent Work (Solo), Wenniger Graphics, Provincetown, Mass., USA.
Objects of Collective Memory (Solo), Simon Fraser University Gallery, Burnaby, B.C.
Lisa MacLean: Recent Prints (Solo), Grand Forks Art Gallery, Grand Forks, B.C.
7th International Miniprint de Cadaques. Juried. Taller Galeria Fort, Barcelona, Spain.
13th International Independante Exhibition. Kanagawa Prefectural Gallery, Yokohama, Japan.
5th Annual Printmakers Show. Juried. Fine Impressions Gallery, Seattle, Wa.
17th International Biennial of Graphic Art. Juried. Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia.
2nd International Exhibition of Miniature Art. Juried. Del Bello Gallery, Toronto, Ont.
Graff Decembre. Juried. Galerie Graff, Montreal, P.Q.
Malaspina Printmakers 12th Annual. Juried. Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, B.C.
Artropolis. Curated. Beatty Street, Vancouver, B.C.
The Story Behind the Art. Curated. Granville Island Graphics, Vancouver, B.C.
Black and White Show. Curated. Granville Island Graphics, Vancouver, B.C.
New Work (Solo), Malaspina Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.
Four Printmakers and One Sculptor. Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, B.C.
Three Printmakers. Bau Xi Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.
Malaspina Printmakers 11th Annual. Juried. CACV Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.
Four Women. Alternative Space, Vancouver, B.C.
Malaspina Printmakers 10th Anniversary. Juried. Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.
Four Printmakers. Curated. Open Studio Gallery, Toronto, Ont.
Graduation Show. Emily Carr College of Art and Design, Vancouver, B.C.
Annual Drawing Show. Juried. Emily Carr College of Art and Design, Vancouver, B.C.
The Women of Emily Carr. Curated. Hycroft House, Vancouver, B.C.
Lisa MacLean (Solo), Firehall Theatre Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.
My film addresses issues of time and death and the various fantasies of human subjectivity western culture offers us. The work is informed by my studies of our culture’s deeply-rooted ideas about what it means to be human. An Accident of Being alludes to the art-historical tradition of Memento Mori, works asking us to remember that we are mortal and that we, too, will die.
Visually, the idea of Memento Mori was perhaps most fully developed in the genre of 17th century Dutch Vanitas paintings. These images, of flowers, fruit, tiny insects, sometimes butterflies, smoking candles and occasionally skulls, were meant to be evocations of the transience of human existence. The flowers and the fruit are symbols of earthly beauty and its ephemerality, reminders that all material life disappears while the kingdom of heaven alone remains. In a single image, painters would combine a universe of floral birth and death: buds, flowers in full bloom and flowers with drooping or fallen petals or being consumed by insects are all included in the composition to indicate the inevitable passage of time and the approach of death. The viewer of these paintings was thus meant to meditate on the transitory nature of human life and the power of God and History. While for our contemporary post-Christian world here in Canada, this vision of an afterlife may not resonate as fully as it might have earlier, fantasies about human subjectivity in the face of death continue to circulate now as they always have.