Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square
Accumulated Outlook examines the way we look at the world through information that is both sourced and sampled. Like the companion exhibition Outlook Express(ed) at Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens, this exhibition explores the way in which artists collect material. It shows how their creativity is evidenced through the act of collecting, as well as through the way they re-use the material. The artists in this exhibition reflect upon the way that information is available to us through an extraordinarily disparate range of sources, and increasingly through electronic media, such as the Internet. They suggest to us that in a world of visual saturation there are ways to personalize things that otherwise seem random, fleeting or incidental. They also show how, by taking an image, or information, from one source and re-using it, they can completely change its meaning, and how we respond to it as viewers.
Impossible Landscapes by Dara Gellman and Leslie Peters presents an extra-ordinary space that is both haunting and emotionally charged. Weaving together clips from films and documentaries, the artists take the audience on a tour through a landscape of dark foreboding spaces to breathtaking fly-overs that cross strange terrains. They stitch together work from different genres so that the landscape work seems like something we have encountered before, but which is also oddly unfamiliar and disjointed.
Decorative Newsfeeds by Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead uses text sampled live from the Internet. It selects data from the plethora of news information online by tapping into news sites and then presents it in a form that is visually enticing. A dancing ribbon of text unfolds, twirls and cavorts across the screen. The piece becomes a momentary, ever changing, performance. It also reminds us that even data that we might think of as 'straight information' reflects hidden cultural sensibilities.
Cheryl Sourke's Homecammer is a series of prints based on images drawn from online community Websites. Webcam images from these community sites show people night and day at their computers, or offer a glimpse of domestic or work spaces, whatever the Webcam is pointed towards. Many seem intentional but some are apparently unintentional. Sourkes extracts still images from the Web, enhances and prints them. The process bestows on the anonymous and often mundane images an intensity and significance that is fascinatingly at odds with the subject.
One of the distinctive qualities of the art works in this exhibition is that they demonstrate how narratives can be created from otherwise unrelated material. These narratives are created by the artists exploring and re-inventing information, then accumulating and building connections. One aspect of this is that the artists are giving a personal slant to the work, creating a new layer of meaning and a new visual aesthetic. But there is another aspect to the notion of narrative that is a more abstract one. It is achieved by taking the source material out of context, and relying on the audience to deal with the resultant strange dislocation. Although these works are not at all interactive the audience's perception is crucial. It is the response to the aggregation of contexts that imbues the artworks with an intensity the original material could never have had.
Curated by Peter Ride