Friday, July 24, 2009

Chris taking a nap.

On Thursday I was in the Old Port area of Montreal so I went by DHC /ART and saw a show that I had been highly anticipating: Michal Rovner's "Particles of Reality". DHC is a relatively young Montreal foundation and exhibition space that first opened its doors almost two years ago. Since then they have shown the work of Sophie Calle and Christian Marclay, among others. I had heard great things about the Rovner show but I was unfamiliar with her work. I was wonderfully surprised! Her videos and projections of large groups of people, performing choreographed movements, and shot from a great distance, are humbling to all. I remember the moment when I was a child and I realized that to an ant I was a giant, and that to me their world seemed insignificant. At the time I wondered if perhaps there was a giant watching me and for whom my world seemed equally insignificant. Rovner's work brings this idea home. Watching the tiny figures doing their dance at times reassured me that our individual actions are of no consequence to the wider world, or otherwise depressed me through the realization that our individual actions are of no consequence to the wider world. If the elaborate gestures of an individual are lost in Rovner's work, the group's significance is felt. The tiny figures seem to have a plan and follow a pattern, creating complex shapes that are constantly in flux. Some of those patterns are familiar and frightening ones. The long lines of people walking one behind the other reminded me of the many forced migrations that have been used to repress different groups throughout the world's history (the Jews in WWII, The Trail of Tears in the US, The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, etc.). The show is divided between DHC’s two spaces and in the venue across the street the work shown is much larger and often surrounds the viewer. I must admit that I couldn’t stay long in these rooms, the groups of people performing similar movements was so overpowering and sad. All in all a really interesting show that I recommend seeing.

On Friday I went to see old friend and f/start co-founder, Guillaume Simoneau’s work at Armatta as well as Kim Waldron’s work next door at Occurrence. Both very good photo shows. Lots of good art seen this week!

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