Lorna Bauer and Jon Knowles

From May 29 to July 12, 2014
Opening on May 29 at 8 pm

Production-dissemination residency in collaboration with PRIM

As individual artists with distinct but complementary approaches, we have produced a collaborative exhibition that investigates the institutions of lens-based practices and their depictive qualities as carriers of visual information about other media.

The project — a highly staged film with a counterpart series of photographs and slides — is an object study through a mise-en-scène of the gestures and topologies involved in two clearly delineated practices: filmmaking and pottery.

This materialist investigation occurs through the deployment of various visual languages and filmic conventions: high-resolution art video (understood more precisely here as a meditation on the “persistence of vision”), 1970s-era structural filmmaking and mid-century cinéma-vérité. Ultimately the intention behind this refractory collision of strategies and methods is to re-shuffle and obscure the distinction between subject and object.

The tenor of the exhibition is a 16mm film made according to the structural school of experimental cinema. The practitioners of this genre removed expressive content and used predetermined devices and techniques to demystify the film process. This film consists of a recording in real time of the movement of a potter’s wheel and the rhythmic throwing of a vessel on the pottery wheel. The camera slowly zooms out while revealing the modeling process of a large bowl. This emphasizes the relationship between the two co-existing circular movements present upon the current presentation/exhibition of the film, one from the spinning of the potter’s wheel (at a horizontal axis but captured on film from the vantage point of a “bird’s-eye view”) and the second from the spinning of the film through the film camera and, in turn, the projector (both at a vertical axis). Incidentally, the amount of time it takes for an experienced ceramicist to throw a modest vessel nearly equals the duration of a single film reel of 100 feet.

Though clay and its craft variants seem at the moment to be partaking in a renaissance within the contemporary art field — as well as the frequently rehearsed dichotomy of skilling vs de-skilling — we firmly situate their exhibit as a refusal to make the false choice between skill and de-skill. Here, we assert the necessity of both an oblique and close-up view of the world.

Lorna Bauer & Jon Knowles

Lorna Bauer & Jon Knowles are the recipients of the PRIM-Dazibao production-dissemination grant. The grant is awarded each year to an artist whose work, while exploring issues in the field of image arts, is not afraid to bring the image into contact with sound, video or digital manipulation. Chih-Chien Wang (2005), Romeo Gongora (2006), Charles Stankievech (2007), Sophie Bélair Clément (2008), Benny Nemerofsky-Ramsay (2009), Michel Campeau (2010), Frédéric Lavoie (2010) and Steve Bates (2011) were the previous recipients.

Lorna Bauer and Jon Knowles thank PRIM, La Mirage (Sophie Bélair Clément, Philippe Hamelin, Vincent Bonin), Eric Gingras, Mariana Frandsen, Mathieu Grenier, Dan Onieszeczko and Martin Dumas. Lorna Bauer wishes to acknowledge the support of the Conseil des arts et lettres du Québec.


Dazibao thanks the artists, PRIM and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal for their generous collaboration and its members for their support.

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.