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Window Gallery: Shit Fireplace

Eric Hill & Jeff Meldrum
November 28, 2020 – January 9, 2021

Shit Fireplace, the popular annual experimental holiday fireplace video series, will be on display in second-hand video screens in the Neutral Ground Window Gallery over the holiday season, accompanied by various ephemera, tchotchkes, knick-knacks, and garbage – right on schedule for the Western world’s annual pilgrimage to the capitalist hellscape known as the holiday shopping mall. Since 2016, Shit Fireplace has methodically burnt thrift store junk as a subversive take on the traditional fireplace/yule log videos of the season. The past five years of Shit Fireplace will be played endlessly on loops, nestled in the aftermath of a holiday party gone awry. What seems like a familiar seasonal display reveals itself to be one better suited for the aftermath of the apocalypse, while the gentle crackle of the fire can be heard, subtly throughout.

Steeped in the traditions of satire and parody, Shit Fireplace is the post-modern yule log video for the typical dysfunctional family holiday gathering. Shit Fireplace pulls together kitsch, nostalgia and North American holiday tradition, placing them all into a burning inferno of sentimentality. The annual tradition of Shit Fireplace is a collaboration between Regina based visual artists Eric Hill and Jeff Meldrum. Shit Fireplace has been installed in varying formats across Canada including, most recently, at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s All Hours event and the Mint Records annual Xmas party in Vancouver in 2019. The project is now blazing through its fifth holiday season and can be found burning up the internet @shitfireplace