Hyper Spaces
26 November 2011 – 4 March 2012

Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square

We have entered the future. A fundamental shift has occurred in how we understand the “real world," in that the impact of the virtual is now all-encompassing. The screen has become an integral element of our daily lives, an increasing digital presence in our space of communication, especially in its mobile incarnations of GPS readers, BlackBerry devices and iPads. It should come as no surprise that our continual need to shift between these two worlds—the virtual and the real—might provoke a third space, a space that is both of these worlds and neither of them. We might call it hyperreality or hyperspace, an alternative realm normally attributed to science fiction, but that seems ever closer to the present moment.

Hyper Spaces focuses on this sense that we are standing at the threshold between the everyday and the extraordinary, the bizarre, the impossible. It is this moment when we hover between the real and virtual or the dream and the waking state that the works in this exhibition evoke. José Manuel Ballester, An Te Liu and Lynne Marsh conjure unsettled spaces, micro-worlds on the cusp of transition. In all instances, they are triggered by public architecture, from the epic scale of a German sports stadium to a conference centre in China to the very gallery that houses this exhibition.

Each of these artists fabricates a view of reality where nothing is certain, reminding us of the psychological impact of all public architecture, however muted the desired effect. In these spaces, the ground is no longer quite stable at our feet, and our surroundings no longer feel quite right. It seems as though “up" could just as easily be “down," and who are we to say if an alternate reality lies just to the side of where we stand?

Curated by Shannon Anderson


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