not nearly as big as the above mentioned, i do try to hit our vancouver art gallery to catch the latest traveling exhibitions. there was the vermeer, rembrandt and golden age of dutch art masterpieces from the rijksmuseum exhibit in 2009 and the colour of my dreams: the surrealist revolution in art in 2011.
this summer, the vag is exhibiting collecting matisse and modern masters, the cone sisters of baltimore until september 30. the collection, amassed by claribel and etta cone, features works from matisse, gauguin, van gogh and picasso.
so on a rainy vancouver afternoon, sean and i went to check out some modernist and impressionist art. my favourite piece out of the entire exhibit was matisse's large odalisque with stripe pantaloons. (1925)
and as per our previous visits, i actually ended up liking the smaller, secondary exhibits over the headlining one. like andreas gursky's panoramic photography exhibit in 2009 and jim campbell's time-based analogue pictures. to me, they were much more intriguing than what was featured on the main floor.
and so it was again this time.
on the upper floor was a trio of photos of ginseng roots by evan lee. but what was unique about them were that they were taken by digital scanner.
there was the large scale and decidedly phallic ceramic work by glenn lewis called artifact. (1969) it is made up of 176 individual tiles with salt shakers in various states of erection. we called it "back up into it." the vag bought the work for its permanent collection and this was the inaugural installation at the gallery.
india suite by jack shadbolt was another work i enjoyed. a series of 20 charcoal drawings, in which the vag exhibited 5 panels, it was inspired by shadbolt's visit to indian temples, palaces and archaelogical sites in 1975.
but what was the highlight of the visit belonged to shanghai artist, yang fudong, who is known for creating highly stylized video installations. we were immersed inside a darkened theatre to watch fifth night, where a single scene has been filmed simultaneously from 7 different vantage points, creating a nonlinear and open ended narrative.
the people in the movie wander and cross paths in a dark city square, while being disconnected from each other. yang described his work as "a midnight theatre for an audience of one", exploring emotive states during this "loneliest hour of the night".
the installation was shot in real time and carefully choreographed so that the 7 cameras never overlapped any of the others.
the 7 channels were presented in a continuum along a wall, spanning 21 metres to be exact, so that subjects appeared or disappeared from view only to reappear in another frame. shot in high definition black and white, i was captivated by the cinematography and the 1930s feel of it.
unfortunately, it looks like you can only see fifth night wherever it is being exhibited, as i can't seem to find a clip of it anywhere online. however, to give you a flavour of how dreamy, strange and riveting fifth night is, here's a video he made for prada's 2010 spring/summer collection called first spring.
oh, if only my life was that interesting to be filmed in such an avant garde manner.