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|October 16 to 26, 2019
Antimatter [media art]
Screenings | Installations | Performances
Dedicated to the exhibition and nurturing of diverse forms of media art, Antimatter is one of the premier showcases of experimentation in film, video, audio and emerging timebased forms. Encompassing screenings, installations, performances and media hybrids, Antimatter provides a noncompetitive setting in Victoria, British Columbia, free from commercial and industry agendas.
|at Deluge Contemporary Art | MonSat 125pm
The Camel Race
single channel video installation | 23:32 | Qatar/USA | 2018
During Qatar’s economic boom in the 1970s, camels became eclipsed by cars. In 1974, in a bid to preserve his culture, the Emir of Qatar launched camel racing as an official organized sport with prizes. In 2005, after a human rights outcry over the use of slave-Sudanese child jockeys, human jockeys were banned altogether from the sport. As a result, robot jockeys were invented. The Camel Race is a more-than-human and animal sensorial experience in four takes of the sport of camel racing. Humans and nonhumans converge, fusing Qatar’s heritage, modern Bedouin identity and technology in a reinvented twist on tradition.
Isabelle Carbonell is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and a PhD candidate in film and digital media at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she is thinking through a cinema of the slow violence in the Anthropocene. Her work lies at the intersection of expanded documentary, environmental justice, invasive species, ecodisasters and experimental ethnography. Recent complete film works include The River Runs Red (2018), The Blessed Assurance (2018) and The Camel Race (2018).
|in the Deluge transom window | dusk10pm
single channel video installation | 4:47 | Canada/USA | 2018
Carousel reflects on the problematics of perception by taking the viewer on a road trip through the high desert, where the seen eventually breaks apart and the limits between physical reality, head trips and visions from beyond become blurred. Joshua Tree is seen through disused military optics or prisms, responding to an ancient theory claiming that we see the world as a result of minuscule crystals within our eyes. As military optics frame perspectives towards specific ends, so too might the eye and its crystalline components.
“In the much-discussed opening to Simulacra and Simulation, Jean Baudrillard presents a reading of the Borges cartography fable, which concludes with ‘The desert of the real itself.’ Briard plays on the punned ending: both a departure from the real and the only landscape that might host shreds of metaphysical beauty. Each waving, hazy Joshua tree demands a different attention dispersed between separated frames. Through cracked windows or torn sails on a road trip in the hot, high desert, the viewer begins their journey in seeing the natural world for what it is and isn’t.” Cori Hutchison, Whitehot Magazine
Annie Briard is a visual and media artist whose work challenges how we make sense of the world through visual perception. Creating lens-based and light-focused works, she explores the intersections between perception paradigms in psychology, neuroscience and existentialism. Her moving images, media installations, expanded and print photography works have been presented in numerous solo exhibitions around the world. Recently, she presented large-scale public art projects for a number of commissions in Canada. Briard holds a BFA from Concordia University and an MFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, where she currently teaches.
|in the Deluge entrance foyer | Gallery + Festival Hours
Rollerbabies (of Paradise)
Julie Sando, David Bergeron
single channel video installation | 2:55 | Canada | 2017
The world wide web is a powerful leveller: content that was once produced and controlled by publishers, industries and institutions is often freely available to be conjured, shared and re-shared in a variety of non-hierarchal ways. This is perhaps especially true of pornography, long known to be one of the central drivers of web-based technological change and commerce. Rollerbabies (of Paradise) is a montage that exhausts all promises of the exotic and the erotic found in the original films: Bird of Paradise (1932), Rollerball (1975) and Rollerbabies (1976). As a work of satire, this piece embodies its suspicions and questions many of the voyeuristic gazes found in these earlier sources. Designed as an anti-spectacle, the visuals emphasize the juxtapositions of roughly cut transitions upon the repeated movements of the bored skaters. With its sugary violins, the soundtrack is reminiscent of the kind of sentimental music used in iconic love stories. It offers a counter-narrative of a dreamy yet saccharine world.
David Bergeron is a producer, guitarist, educator and programmer. Their most recent body of work is electronic in nature and exists between the realms of the “academic” and the “popular.” Bergeron aims to engage audiences by creating immersive environments that challenge expectations and explore the limitations of genre specificity, community and geography. They hold a Master of Fine Arts degree in Film and Media Arts and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Windsor.
Julie Sando is a lens-based visual artist, human rights advocate, educator and researcher. Central to her practice is the activity of collecting found imagery and manipulating those materials to the point of de-familiarization. Recent projects were created around collections of 45 rpm soul and pop recordings and amateur radio enthusiast magazines. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Creative Arts at the University of Windsor. Her work has been shown across Canada and in the United States.
|at Legacy Art Gallery | 630 Yates St | dusk10pm
Pwdr Ser: the Rot of Stars
single channel video installation | 6:40 | USA | 2018
The film depicts an encounter with a mysterious, luminous, electrical substance. Inspired equally by medieval accounts of visionary experiences and by 19th century photography of the invisible, Pwdre Ser joins Kirlian photography with hand-processed images. “Pwdre Ser” is the Welsh name for a mythical substance that has been observed by many since the 1400s.
As I pondered the mystery of substances that fall to earth from the cosmos, I was drawn to the idea of matter imbued with an ancient, restless light, light from beyond our solar system. I began to imagine the qualities of such a ragged electrically charged light, at once particle and wave, pulling and pushing nervously: a substance and a phenomenon.
In my work I have explored ideas of mystical contact with the natural world. For this film I drew on a personal experience from when I was nine years old: coming home late one night when the sky was clear and full of stars, I became aware as if for the first time of the vastness and magnitude of the universemy own insignificance by contrast to the firmament, and by extension the comparative brevity of my life. At first such thoughts caused me great fear but over time I have come to realize that once the ego has gone all that remains are particles of matter, particles that are shared with the universe and with the restless inquisitive stars that refuse to orbit with regularity and take off to chart their own path, particles that have a beauty rhythm and mystery of their own.
Charlotte Pryce has been making experimental films, photographs and optical objects since 1986. Pryce graduated with a BFA from the Slade School of Art and completed an MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her films have screened in numerous festivals including Rotterdam, Oberhausen, Toronto, San Francisco, New York, Hong Kong, Ann Arbor and London. Awards include the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Douglas Edwards Award for Best Experimental Cinema Achievement, Film at Wits End Award and the Gil Omenn Art and Science Award from Ann Arbor Film Festival. In 2019 she presented a career retrospective at Rotterdam Film Festival and her work has been performed at the Bozar in Brussels, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and at Mostra de Cinema Periferico in A Coruña Spain.
|at Ministry of Casual Living Window Gallery | 764 Yates St
There Were Four of Us
single channel video installation | 6:47 | China/USA | 2019
In a room, there are four people. Shao explores and reflects contradictions in herself within the dream realm. Despite their abandonment in isolation and surreality her characters remain eternally unmoved by their peculiar situations. Shao blends digital and analogue materials to evoke otherworldly and unique perspectives. She will always praise bathtubs, the spine and ever insoluble questions.
Cassie Shao is an animation artist currently based in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of SAIC and Hench-DADA School of Cinematic Arts at USC. She works across the fields of independent films, music videos, projection mapping and advertising as well as animated television series. Her work has screened at festivals such as MIAF, LIAF, Athens Animfest, Anim!Arte, Ars Independent, Cucalorus and KLIK.
|at Empty Gallery | 833 Fisgard St | WedSat, 125pm
Lyoudmila Milanova, Steffi Lindner
single channel video installation | 17:56 | Germany | 2018
In AGENS, clouds and fog come and go, but only featured in interiors. Everyday scenes of the ephemeralsmoke from a cigarette, steam from a kettle or a dishwashergradually turn into peculiar cloud and fog phenomena. While becoming denser and more surreal, familiar vapours get increasingly detached from their conformed functionality.
Lyoudmila Milanova was born in Varna, Bulgaria and has been living and working in Cologne, Germany since 2000. After receiving an MA in media science at the University of Cologne, she finished her postgraduate studies at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne in 2011. Milanova’s artistic practice includes videos, installations and objects. She has shown her work in exhibitions in New York, Marseille, Kyoto, Rotterdam, Seoul and Cologne and has been the recipient of numerous grants and stipends.
Steffi Lindner grew up in Berlin, where she lives and works, creating videos, drawings and installations since completing postgraduate studies at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne in 2013. Lindner is the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships and her work has been included in various exhibitions at galleries and festivals including Images Festival (Toronto), Gallery YYZ (Toronto), Art Cologne, Erarta Motion Pictures (St. Petersburg), NADA Art Fair Miami, Liste Basel, Festival International Exit (Creteil) and Capla Kesting Fine Art Gallery (NYC).
|at Victoria Arts Council Gallery | 1800 Store St | TuesSat, 125pm
interactive video installation | 15:00 | Canada | 2019
Acoustic Turbulence is an interactive art application that presents visualizations of underwater noise generated by pollution from large ocean vessels. This exploratory program allows viewers to experience unfiltered hydrophone recordings of the passage of various ships through the Salish Sea while moving a virtual camera vertically between a representational surface and an abstracted submarine environment. The transition is abrupt. Most vessel noise is generated below the waterline, and sound propagates farther and more rapidly through ocean water than through air. Viewers transition between different scenes of shipping lanes, each featuring a specific class of vessel and representative hydrophone recording.
Colton Hash is an emerging artist who currently resides as an uninvited guest on Lekwungen territories of Vancouver Island. Hash’s practice is inspired by the wild and anthropogenic landscapes that surround him. He integrates scientific understandings, social concerns and intuitive experience through multimedia creation. His politically-oriented practice has received regional recognition with the Witness Legacy Award for Social Purpose and Responsibility Through Art from the ProArt Alliance. Hash has received a B.Sc. in Computer Science, Visual Arts and Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria, and recently completed an art residency with Ocean Networks Canada.
|at Victoria Arts Council Gallery | 1800 Store St | TuesSat, 125pm
The Five Finger Splash
single channel video installation | 8:47 | Canada | 2019
The viewer is taken into a slow-motion tableau of a recreational dive competition on a luxury cruise ship sailing in the Gulf of Mexico. Capturing meticulous detail of every spectating body, The Five Finger Splash is a mesmerizing and absurd portrait of leisure, privilege and human progress.
Robert Hamilton is an internationally recognized media artist. He is a Professor of Multimedia at McMaster University, Canada. His has an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a second MFA from the Jan Van Eyck Academie in The Netherlands. His research primarily involves video, animation and interactive gallery installations. He has been the recipient of ten grants from the Canada Council and two from Ontario Arts Council. Since 1986, Hamilton’s artwork has been presented in numerous international festivals, galleries and museums, including Transmediale (Berlin), Hilversum Museum (Netherlands) and Maison des arts de Laval (Quebec). His video work has won the German Video Art Prize and The Chicago Film Festival Silver Hugo Award. His artwork is in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada and the AKI Academie of The Netherlands amongst others.
|at VAC Satellite Gallery, Greater Victoria Public Library | Central Branch | 735 Broughton St | Library Hours
single channel video installation | 2:43 | Canada | 2018
bearing composes Google 360° Sphere photographs from Yemen with recorded data from over 327 US military drone attacks between 2002 and 2018. These records were further researched according to their geographic location. Each region of attack was remapped to a planar image and used to create the image sphere. The camera reveals the rotational coordinates and timing of each attack, visualizing the 17-year period into about two and a half minutes. The images were assembled according to time of day and weather and placed within a synchronized spin of yearly revolution. A central mirror-like sphere indicates the severity of each attack, according to its size, and is locked in relation to the camera. The images depict various regions and cities within Yemen, areas of everyday common interest, a kind of geographic snapshot of the country which for the most part does not necessarily depict results of civil war or drone strikes.
Greg Marshall is a Canadian interdisciplinary media artist working in art video, animation, documentary, installation, object and image making. His work often examines the structures and effects of war.
|at VAC Satellite Gallery, Greater Victoria Public Library | James Bay Branch | 385 Menzies St | Library Hours
The Mulch Spider's Dream
single channel video installation | 14:00 | UK | 2018
What is it like to be a spider? A creature that lives in the same environment as we do and yet has an experience far removed from ours. The Mulch Spider’s Dream evokes a non-human world through shape, colour and rhythm. The seemingly abstract images are made by using the internal chemistry of plants interacting with photographic emulsion, a type of image that I have called a “phytogram.” The making of phytograms involves simple biodegradable chemistry that is used to soak petals and leaves harvested from wild and domesticated plants. By bringing the organic material in contact with film emulsion, chemical traces are formed, reflecting the interior structure of the plants.
Karel Doing is an independent artist, filmmaker and researcher. His interest in experimental film and expanded cinema is reframed within a critical approach toward modernity and post-modernity, in search of new meanings of the real and the material. Through the study of (phyto)chemical process, the recording of oral history and the (re)use of cinematic heritage he explores alternative knowledge systems. In many of his works the rhythmical, painterly and performative qualities of the analog film medium are foregrounded. His films, performances and installations have been presented internationally.
|September 6 to October 5, 2019
Shelley Penfold | Daniel Laskarin
Featuring painted diptychs by Vancouver-based Shelley Penfold and sculpture by Victoria’s Daniel Laskarin, waterfalling explores the nature and breadth of our human interactions. Employing an abstracted visual language arising from attraction and aversion, question and response, the work in this exhibition considers how our thoughts and conversations can break apart to reform and coalesce.
Above, Shelley Penfold: it looks like it should be rubble, right B?, mixed media on canvas, 2019, 122x183cm
Below, Daniel Laskarin: tether, steel, aluminum, rope, 2018, 224x62x180cm; to extend and shift, aluminum, fabric, various props, 2016/19, 104x81x84cm
My paintings are based on chance encounters, the way materials interact with surfaces and how they come together and settle, interact, and speak to each other.
I work en plein air at times to find the language of nature. The ways that the materials mix and materialize on the surface of the paintings is not unlike the disparate synching that happens in a forest, meadow, or other landscape.
There are a multitude of narratives that exist in each work and abstraction drives some of these conversations. There are interjections of cultural symbols, personal experience, icons, architecture, and a dictionary of marks that can appear at any time on the surface. When the inner dialogue that exists while in the process of making shifts, sometimes those marks etc are removed. This removal, build up and taking away is part of the overall history of each painting and is typically allowed to show through. But, at times, the marks are laid onto the surface as deliberate moves. These moves happen after a period of thought, experimentation (will the material hold up as I think it will) and a willingness to tell a story and to express an emotion or thought of something that has been observed in my life. These are personal narratives or portraits that utilize universal markers to make the paintings relational.
There is intention involved as much as there are deliberate movements. At times, I can think about what is next for weeks or months. But once I get going those marks, moves, are laid down and left to settle to be contemplated upon, not unlike words on a page or of dark energy that exists but is not yet fully understood but has the ability to pull a universe apart.
After a career as a helicopter pilot/engineer I turned to the visual arts as a field of equal, if dissimilar, danger.
My practice is one of restless contemplation. It is object based, materially and philosophically rooted. It is an investigation of our experience of objects as other bodies and of the ways in which art may give sensory experience to consciousness, creating a bridge between substance and ineffability.
Understanding that the “expanded field” is utterly blown apart, my work makes things that stay together, that find their own order in a condition of disorder, and that at the same time remain unsettled. This work uses diverse media, drawn from industrial materials and processes, sometimes incorporating photography and video, optics, robotics systems, installation and sound. I have been involved with set design, public image projections, and large scale public commissions in the Pacific Northwest.
I have exhibited across Canada and internationally and currently teach at the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Victoria in western Canada.
|July 26 to August 24, 2019
Just a Moment
Every day is a well trodden path of the unconscious.
Infinite gestures within the instantaneous allow us to satisfy
our biologic and psychic needs without fully recognizing what we are doing.
The toothpaste has run out again, so I buy a tube of the reliable sort.
The book I ordered has arrived in the post.
The ubiquity of the attendant waste of these actions
are the barometer of this sleight of mind.
They are the diametric opposite of memory that in turn,
defines the events we recall and celebrate.
This hierarchy of moments some call personal histories.
Our own private archive is not possible
without traversing the landfill of these subconscious moments.
Arriving home, I take the debris from my pocket.
It includes the receipt for the toothpaste.
While recalling the trip to the drugstore, I pinch the receipt absentmindedly.
I have made a little boat.
Or maybe it is the ship my grandparents arrived on.
In allowing my mind to wander,
the awkward need for recollection
sinks the ship along with all but the greatest exploits
of my forebears.
The path has reached the border between the present and the past.
A moment later, I have stuffed the toothpaste receipt
inside the box my book arrived in; a dry dock of anonymity.
J Borsos, July 2019
Testing the unreliability of memory through the context of prosaic actions, Borsos has created a series of painted aluminum and plastic sculptures, each work titled by the year of the source material and a visual referent. “Even in our dream state, for better or worse, our hands are not necessarily idle. It may be the act of disregarding the detritus of life, or sitting in a fog while making miniature assemblages of available wastepaper.” It is our preoccupation with the importance of living, he says, that allows these muddled drifting acts to recall and transcend our past.
Jeremy Borsos attended Emily Carr School of Art and the Art Students League in New York. His practice is multidisciplinary and includes writing, photography, installation, painting, and video. He has exhibited nationally and internationally. Together with his partner, Sus, the Borsos have developed a meta-historical use of salvaged architecture, constructing multiple dwellings and ancillary structures, most recently in the restoration of the Blue Cabin in North Vancouver.
Top to bottom:
1941 (A Home Movie of Man Cleaning Parts with Steel Wool), oil silkscreen mono-print on aluminum, 15x15x12", 2019
2019 (Ice Sheets, Antarctica), oil silkscreen mono-print on aluminum and polyethylene terephthalate, 28.5x28x10", 2019
1974 (Ali-Forman), oil silkscreen mono-print on aluminum, 14.5x13x6.5", 2018
|Tuesday, May 14, 7pm
TAKE IT DOWN!
A screening of recent films by
Sabine Gruffat & Bill Brown
Artists in attendance
In this collection of recent work by North Carolina-based media artists Sabine Gruffat and Bill Brown, celluloid film serves as both a material register and critical resource for interrogating the documentary image. Whether using discontinuous montage, handmade techniques for creating and processing images, or dramatic reenactors, these films aim to extend the formal possibilities of non-fiction filmmaking.
Sabine Gruffat is a digital media artist and filmmaker with a special interest in the social and political implications of media and technology. Her experimental and essay films explore how technology, globalization, urbanism and capitalism affect human beings and the environment. Gruffat’s films have screened at festivals worldwide including Viennale, MoMA Documentary Fortnight, Cinéma du Réel at Centre Pompidou and CPH:DOX. Gruffat lives and works in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Bill Brown is a media artist interested in ways landscape is interpreted, appropriated and reconfigured according to human desires, memories and dreams. His research interests include haunted houses, UFOs, memorial architecture and outsider archaeology. Brown’s films have screened at venues around the world, including Rotterdam Film Festival, London Film Festival, Sundance and Lincoln Centre. A retrospective of his films was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Brown lives and works in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Take It Down (Gruffat, 2018, 12:30)
Employing solarized colour positive 35mm film and animation of old postcard images of Confederate monuments in North Carolina, Take It Down documents how Southern identity continues to be bound up in the legacy of the Civil War and the Jim Crow Era. The film considers how these old memorials continue to be sites of conflicting politics and historical narratives.
XCTRY (Brown, 2018, 6:18)
Brown re-works 16mm footage that he shot years ago during a cross-country road trip from Chicago to Las Vegas. The spatial discontinuities of the road trip are rendered as visual continuities across three frames as Brown goes in search of the next town to fall in and out of love with.
Life on the Mississippi (Brown, 2018, 28:13)
A short essay film about a river and the limits of knowing it. Using Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi as a road map, Brown travels from Memphis, Tennessee to New Orleans and considers ways river pilots, paddlers, historical reenactors and civil engineers attempt to know the river through modelling, measurement and simulation.
Framelines (Gruffat, 2017, 10:14)
An abstract scratch film made by laser etching preset patterns onto the film emulsion of negative and positive 35mm film. The strips of film were then re-photographed on top of each other as photograms. The soundtrack is created by filtering and layering the noise made by the laser-etched 35mm optical track.
Amarillo Ramp (Brown + Gruffat, 2017, 24:10)
A portrait of sculptor Robert Smithson’s final earthwork. Employing filmmaking strategies that are both responsive to the artwork’s environmental context and informed by Smithson’s own art-making strategies, the filmmakers encounter the Ramp as an observatory where human scales of space and time are set against geological and cosmic scales.
|April 13 to May 11, 2019
Shon Kim | Kristin Reeves | Kelly Sears | Wenhua Shi
The video works in Kinesthesia explore ritualized movement and idealized/abstracted bodies through appropriated imagery and experimental animation techniques. Within the exhibition setting a haptic feedback loop is created. Through image and sound, osmosis and suggestion, the installation creates a space where observers consider firsthand how we receive and experience information on somatic and conscious levels.
Experimenting with locomotion based on chronophotography in homage to Muybridge and Jules-Maray, Kim traverses the thin line between mastery and control, posturing and threat. Using various source material including old martial arts books, magazines and audio recordings, BOOKANIMA dissects the idea of movements in a sociopolitical sensea corps of bodies and minds in thrall to larger ideals situated on the continuum between defence and aggression.
Through Reeve’s reanimation of 16mm media cadavers Body Contours takes a deep dive into the realms of focused dreaming and visualization: the creation of these “mind movies” standing in for filmmaking itself. Harder than it seems, with all the background distortion we create for ourselves; control can be elusive and fragmentary. Risk is inherent in the search for peak performance. Inner worlds can collide too.
Sears animates hundreds of images from massage instruction manuals to explore the transmission of language itself, with the body as receptacle for this knowledge. While Applied Pressure envelopes us in the therapeutic mood of healing touch, it also suggests the proximal distress of our surrounding livesthe double meaning of the work’s titleand the memories of trauma our bodies retain.
In Walking Cycle, Shi propels the body through other dimensions. Motions yield to ectoplasmic ripples as actions displace space. Extra-dimensional activity breaks down the corporeal in order to reform it. Abstraction leads to coalescence via the power of suggestiona mesmeric conjuring that is also a tribute to abstract animation pioneers Len Lye and Hans Richter.
Shon Kim completed a BFA in Film and Video at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an MFA in Experimental Animation at California Institute of the Arts and a Ph.D. in Animation Theory at Chung-Ang University, Seoul. He lives and works in Los Angeles.
Kristin Reeves has shown her interdisciplinary work internationally in museums, galleries, theatres, art events and festivals such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Crossroads Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Antimatter [Media Art], European Media Arts Festival, Revelation Perth and Microscope Gallery. She was awarded the 2016 Indie Grits Film Festival Helen Hill Memorial Award for Body Contours and is a Signal Culture Artist in Residence. Reeves has also collaborated in over 20 live multimedia projects staged in performance venues such as Steppenwolf Theatre, The Boiler and Granoff Centre. She is Programming Director for That One Film Festival in Muncie, Indiana and Assistant Professor of Art at Murray State University in western Kentucky.
Kelly Sears is an experimental animator who recasts and reframes American archetypes and institutions to reimagine our own social and political legacy. She views animation as a critical practice, cutting out and collaging as a way to intervene and expand context to appropriated source materials while reworking recognizable social or political narratives. Sears has screened retrospective programs of her short work at Anthology Film Archives, Pacific Film Archives, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Portland Art Museum and the San Francisco Cinematheque. She is an Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she teaches advanced filmmaking, animation, experimental documentary and media archeology.
Wenhua Shi pursues a poetic approach to moving image making, and investigates conceptual depth in film, video, interactive installations and sound sculptures. His work has been presented at museums, galleries and film festivals, including International Film Festival Rotterdam, European Media Art Festival, Athens Film and Video Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Pacific Film Archive, West Bund 2013: a Biennale of Architecture and Contemporary Art, Shanghai, Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and the Arsenale of Venice in Italy. Shi has received awards from New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts and Black Maria Film and Video Festival.
|March 8 to April 6, 2019
Ko Kirk Yamahira
“I consider that the subjectivity is formed through the repetitive process of deconstructing the existing objects, and ruminating on such process. There is no specific aim to find a meaning, neither in the creative act itself, nor through the creative process. The totality of the meaning can be found in the continuation of the process. Therefore the reason for the creative act would be found in different inquiry.
The obsession of pursuit of the meaning is unlocked by the pure enjoyment of the creative act. The obsession in turn would release the meaning of the search by forgetting the initial inquiry. There are innumerable ways to enact the process, however there is one answer to the result of the process. Within the answer contains two opposing perspectives that has no hierarchy. The point of view, both subjective and objective, as well as the scale of the perception would affect the location of the answer. I sense the distance to the answer gets ever more shorter as I repeat the inquiry.
The answer certainly exists in the past and it could simply be overlooked. The past always has the potential for the new discoveries for me. Since the inquiry originates within my mind, thus the approach to look and find the answer can change completely. It shifts while depending of my state of mind. So it is both firm, as well as transient. Creation of the artworks comes after my deconstructive process on already existing canvas, separating vertical and horizontal threads.”
For Seattle-based artist Ko Kirk Yamahira, the finished painting is a beginning rather than an end. Painstakingly removing individual threads from the weave of the canvas, Yamahira deconstructs his paintings, turning surface into form. He often disrupts the geometry of the canvas’s hidden support structure as well, cutting out sections of the wooden stretcher bars to create detached segments bound by loose thread. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Tokyo and London, Yamahira moved to Seattle from New York in 2015. He has exhibited in galleries in the United States and Japan, both individually and as a member of the artist collectives Art Beasties and SOIL.
On-site publication by Ko Kirk Yamahira
|January 25 to March 2, 2019
Night Moves is a series of paintings that investigates the abstract relationship between space and colour. Influenced by Cubism, hard-edged Modernist painting, comic books and candy wrappers, the colours in these paintings reference the world of advertising and design. These visually stimulating works express the artist’s interest in perceptions of pictorial space and are a direct response to the proliferation of digital imagery and imaging technology.
Combining manual and digital techniques, Lambeth’s paintings are initially designed as collages on a laptop and are translated in the studio directly from the glowing screen of a tablet. Through applications of contrasting regions of flatly applied paint, this optically challenging work presents areas of unfixed space, where the figure-ground relationships appear to flip and the viewer’s sense of space is questioned. Like the famously ambiguous picture known as "One Vase/Two Faces"* in which the figure and ground switch places, Lambeth’s paintings elicit a similar visual phenomenon where these relationships are not permanent, but transitory.
Lambeth combines the organic with the structure and rigidity of the grid. He flirts with the viewer by providing them with almost fully-rendered plant forms, but before they can completely register these biological shapes, the imagery slips back into the architectural network of the painting’s digital origins. Further emphasizing the synthetic qualities of his work and distancing himself from the painterly gesture, Lambeth meticulously applies crisp layers of flat colour, contrasting the quick gestures of his digital sources through the slowness of the medium of paint.
These paintings explore optical perceptions of space. Emphasizing the formal properties of structure and design, Lambeth’s images present the viewer with a sense of visual pleasure. With their bright, welcoming colours and forms the paintings in Night Moves foreground ideas of beauty and express Lambeth’s desire to create optimistic works that distract the viewer from the difficult times in which we live.
* Mitchell, W.J.T. "Foundational Sites and Occupied Spaces." Image Science Iconology, Visual Culture and Media Aesthetics, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015. p.158.
Todd Lambeth was born in Calgary, Alberta and currently lives in Victoria, British Columbia. He studied visual art at the Ontario College of Art and Design and received his MFA in studio art from the University of Victoria where he currently teaches drawing and painting. His work has been exhibited across Canada in both commercial galleries and artist-run centres. In recent years he has participated in exhibitions at The Penticton Art Gallery (Penticton, BC), Open Space Arts Society (Victoria, BC) and Chernoff Fine Art (Vancouver, BC). Lambeth is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, and his work is held in private, corporate and public collections including the Alberta Art Foundation, Nordstrom and Shell Canada.
|Fire (Johnny Storm), Todd Lambeth, 2018, acrylic on canvas, 70x52.5"|