Matthew Barney, CREMASTER 2 (1999), production still, courtesy Barbara Gladstone, photo: Michael James OBrien [Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Nov 28-Feb 8]
Silver investigates the role of film in contemporary art practice and features some of the most respected Canadian and international artists working with the film genre.
When the Lumière brothers' pioneering film, The Arrival of a Train at the Station (1895) was first presented, the Parisian audience fled the theatre, believing the train was about to collide with the building. Contemporary spectators have developed a sophisticated sense of the dream-making machine of film; their internalized understanding of filmic language allows them to interpret cinematic illusion and to stay seated when the film begins.
Silver: dreams, screens and theories presents drawings, sculpture, photographs and installations that reflect on cinematic systems within a visual arts practice. Like the spectator who scans the silver screen in the cinema, the viewer in the gallery is part of a visual system. Silver focuses on the way in which the spectators internalized knowledge of cinema, narrative, memory and physicality is enlisted by artists in order to execute the meaning and content of their work.
While classic early avant garde experiments by artists relied on the strategies of illusion contained in the conventional single screen presentations, the projects in this exhibition investigate cinema's overall visual structure and include investigations of scale, three-dimensional space, still image, scripting and mapping (akin to directors drawings and storyboards), staging and choreography, sculptural components and the material qualities of celluloid.
Through film screenings and the gallery exhibition, Silver examines these strategies in a cross-section of work by significant Canadian and international artists Matthew Barney, Stan Brakhage, Janet Cardiff, Stan Douglas, Atom Egoyan, David Hoffos, Catherine Sullivan, Gisele Amantea, Claude Philippe Benoit, Dawn Clements, Mark Lewis, Damian Moppett, Ron Mueck and Arlene Stamp.
SPECIAL EVENT: Fade, Wipe & Zoom Saturday November 29, 24 pm An interactive open house in the exhibition with artists and film, theatre and art specialists including Lianne McLarty, Professor of Film Studies at UVic, Grace Salez, Victoria director and filmmaker, artists Arlene Stamp, David Hoffos and Damian Moppett among others. Audiences can ask questions, participate in discussions while mapping out their own tour through the exhibition.
FILM SCREENINGS (at the University of Victoria in the Student Union Building):
Cremaster II (1999) by Matthew Barney Friday November 28, 7:15 pm A Western Canada debut! The 2nd of five feature-length films in epic cycle that explore processes of creation.
An Evening of Short Films by Stan Brakhage Tuesday, January 13, 7:15 pm Several shorts by this prolific and experimental filmmaker who passed away spring of 2003.
Krapps Last Tape (2000) by Atom Egoyan Tuesday, January 27, 7:15 pm A faithful adaptation in both text and spirit of Samuel Beckett's greatest play that observes Krapp as he records his annual reflections on his antiquated reel-to-reel.