Almost Six Pieces
From February 19 to April 18, 2015
Opening on February 19 at 7 pm
Almost Six Pieces brings together, for the first time in Canada, five video installations by the American artist Reynold Reynolds. In a scrupulously controlled chaos, exacerbated by the abundance of references—historical, artistic, scientific, etc.—Reynolds somehow develops an aesthetic of “unease”. This unease is maintained by a persistent confusion between bluff and reality and is fed by unexpressed and unacknowledged torments. Without being apocalyptic or completely dystopian, the five works brought together here foretell a world bordering on disaster, making the very idea of progress the allegory of ruin.
Seven Days ’Til Sunday forms a triptych with Burn and The Drowning Room, all of them made with Patrick Jolley (1964-2012). One by one, as if pushed by an implacable force, human forms fall down a staircase or from the top of a grain silo, are burned or explode, are thrown into water from a bridge. An inert body is also perched on the subway platform of a hallucinatory city. The soundtrack, the use of black and white and the slow-motion effects make us expect something that has already happened, magnifying the anguish.
In Burn, an apartment and its residents, while tending to their everyday lives, waste away in a state of disturbing latency. In this closed world in which living resembles a punishment, a man sprinkles gasoline on the duvet and bed where his wife is sleeping, sets it on fire and then immolates himself, without being burned. For the viewer, the bewildering apathy of the characters appears as the only possible form of revolt.
In Six Apartments, the residents of six dwellings live out their solitary lives while voices on the radio and television deliver in polite tones alarming news of the imminent destruction of the planet. The text permeates the image, rendering it ambiguous and metaphorical. At times using the camera in a stoic and almost medical manner, Reynolds accentuates and even aestheticises, through a perfect loop, the alteration and degeneration that take place over the course of the film, to the point that the resulting sense of suffocation becomes spellbinding.
In the succeeding works, Secrets Trilogy (made up of Secret Life, Secret Machine and Six Easy Pieces) and the quite recent 1 Part 7, Reynolds explores the connections between art and science. Through the metaphor of time and its measurement, of its role in research and experimentation, movement and the moving image, he reveals and conceals by turns the various forms of mathematical elements or illusion that underlie any representation through images.
Born in Alaska, Reynold Reynolds holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and a master’s from the School of Visual Arts in New York. His work has been the subject of exhibitions around the world at venues such as the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), MoMA PS1 (New York), the Centre de la photographie (Geneva), the Christopher Grimes Gallery (California) and the Museu de Arte Moderna (Rio de Janeiro). His work has been shown in several biennials, including the Biennale of Moving Images (Geneva), the Berlin Biennale, the Bienal de Arte Contemporaneo del Fin del Mundo (Argentina) and the Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. The Drowning Room, presented in the exhibition Home Sweet Home. À propos de l’inquiétude (the exhibition inaugurating Dazibao’s new space) was our first exploration of his work. For more information see his website. Reynolds has made several works with Patrick Jolley.
Dazibao receives financial support from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, the ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the Ville de Montréal.