As the creative directors of the Monstrous Baroque Refinery at the Art Gallery of Alberta, we worked with dancers, musicians, installation and performance artists to create an evening of beautiful horror. Inspired by the notion of the sublime, Monstrous Baroque responded to the AGA exhibitions Mislead by Nature and Beautiful Monsters.
The artists in Refinery revamped several elements of seventeenth century Baroque art: the ornate, the theatrical, the decadent, the decorative, and the enticing. The evening highlighted the monstrous as frightening and whimsical, human and other worldly, grandiose and horrific. Refinery participants experienced a late night art party where the opulent was rendered strange and the peculiar became extraordinary.