Parallax: Duncan MacDonald & Arnold McBay
February 2015
Grimsby Public Art Gallery.

View or download the catalogue HERE.

Four years in development, the Parallax exhibition was the culmination of ongoing interests, experiments and discussions between Duncan MacDonald and myself and was curated by Rhona Wenger of the Grimsby Public Art Gallery. The exhibition was also accompanied by a publication with essays by artist, curator, critic, and writer Julia Polyck-O'Neil and independent curator Emma German. My efforts in this project have focused on widening my range of activity past/beyond drawing (as well as expanding my drawing practices) to embrace installation, video and collaboration in a more substantive manner. The project featured four major works and each can be viewed in the following galleries:

Forest of Signs > view
Forest of Signs is accumulation. Mutation. Manipulation. It is not creation. It is re-purposing, re-cycling…. comparison and reconsideration. It is deception and illusion. Forest of Signs is the culmination of several years of thinking and working that expands from a project first mounted at Brock University called Common Knowledge. Featuring further use of found objects, juxtaposition of found, manipulated and manufactured objects and substances this work continues my exploration of knowledge as a mutable and organic thing, thought as form. In part inspired by the literary works of Gaston Bachelard and Jorge Luis Borges this project is a cloudlike book of objects as ideas…a meditation on the act of creativity and creation itself. An erstwhile attempt to measure something not measurable.

Parallax > view
Click HERE to view a short video of this work during production.
This work features re-purposed darkroom photographic enlarger condenser lenses through which the viewer "reads" a selection of visual or concrete poems by a range of contemporary poets. Simultaneously an admiration of, reading and celebration of visual (or concrete) poetry, Parallax also asks the viewer to contemplate the act of both reading and seeing. The lenses that both magnify and distort each poem, and the fact that the each poem changes dramatically depending on the viewer's position reminds us of the flexibility and mutability of language, its elusivity and the collaborative nature of literature.

Silence Does Not Exist > view
Silence Does Not Exist was the crystalization of ideas that began with a number of earlier works (titled Synecdoche). These works used antique black & white glass-plate negatives and photographs that were fashioned into rectangular boxes. Silence Does Not Exist is a photographic essay in three dimensional form, a contemplation or meditation on time and memory, obsessiveness, collection of the recorded photographic image and the odd tension between the distance and closeness that we experience when viewing an old photograph.

Presencia > view
A 27:48 video projected onto an antique wooden panel on the floor Presencia featured a cross-faded series of scans from the Synecdoche box works. It is a time-based condensation, or expansion of the images and ideas in Silence Does Not Exist.

Installation photos > view






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