Silver | dreams, screens and theories
November 28, 2003 to February 8, 2004
Features work by David Hoffos and Arlene Stamp
When the Lumiere 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 spectator’s internalized knowledge – of cinema, of narrative, of memory, of 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: New York artist/ filmmaker Matthew Barney held his solo exhibition Cremaster Cycle at the Guggenheim; internationally influential American filmmaker Stan Brakhage; Canadian artist Janet Cardiff, winner of the Juror’s Award at the 2001 Venice Biennale; Stan Douglas, Canada’s representive at 2002 Sao Paulo Biennale, Brazil; Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan, winner of the Grand Prix in Cannes; Lethbridge artist David Hoffos, the 2002 Sobey Award runner-up; Los Angeles-based actor/filmmaker Catherine Sullivan, American representative at the Lyon Biennale in 2003. Other significant artists are: Gisele Amantea (Montreal); Claude Philippe Benoit (Montreal); Dawn Clements (New York); Mark Lewis (London); Damian Moppett (Vancouver); Ron Mueck (London); and Arlene Stamp (Calgary).