#AGHayx: are you experienced?

Wednesday 25 November 2015

When I first started this blog, my intention was to write mostly about books, with an emphasis on local literature. For a while, I did just that, but slowly things started to evolve, especially with so much to do and see in Hamilton. Even still, my passion lies in literature, so I get really excited when I see other disciplines embracing the literary arts.

On Friday, I was invited to the Art Gallery of Hamilton’s Social Media Influencer’s Night, giving me an up-close look at are you experienced, a series of “immersive and interactive installations, photography, video, painting, sculpture and sound art, the artists engage viewers and invite participation.”

After an hour of wandering the exhibit, taking photos, and connecting with other “social media influencers,” I attended a talk with artists Hadley+Maxwell, in conversation with writers Jennifer Fisher and Jim Drobnick, who spoke about their incredible work, When That was This, which was created using cinefoil, steel, magnets, 6-channel sound, LED light-programming.

The history junkie in me was immersed in the story of the story of the work, “a reflection on masculinity and the transformation of a public into a war machine as was the case at the turn of the 20th Century.” But what most stunned and gripped me was how the artists brought together the literary and visual arts in the most innovative way:

From the artists’ website: 
“The soundtrack features vocal recordings by writer Lisa Robertson, who reads a passage from Gertrude Stein's Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas and actor Kai Meyer, who reads a passage from Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front. The sound is composed of extended processing and editing techniques to create various acoustic atmospheres and disembodied voices that, combined with the programmed LED lighting, illuminate the curiosity and anxiety common to the shifting social, political and perceptual sense of humanity of the time.”
are you experienced? is on view until January 3, 2016, and is made up of “spectacular installations by six internationally renowned artists: Nadia Belerique, Jessica Eaton, Olafur Eliasson, Dorian FitzGerald, Hadley+Maxwell and Do Ho Suh.”

Visually stunning, each piece was a photographer’s dream, and getting the opportunity to snap photos in a museum setting (without worrying about the wrath of security guards) was a joy. I lack the lexicon of the visual arts, so I urge you to enjoy are you experienced? for yourself.

Works by Dorian FitzGerald are daunting in scale. They're captivating in different ways depending on where in the room you view them. 

When That was This

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the wonderful tour! You must have had a fantastic time.

    oh, no yellow sneakers?


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