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From Memory #1 (boul. Saint-Laurent) (2008)

Plots Against Time

March 1–April 26, 2008

Opening Reception:
Saturday, March 1, 2–5pm

Pari Nadimi Gallery is pleased to announce a major solo exhibition by internationally acclaimed artist David Rokeby.

Machine for Taking Time (boul. Saint-Laurent) (2007) is the second in an ongoing series of works in which video cameras on motorized mounts survey particular places over time, building up large image databases from which the final work is constructed. The original, commissioned by the Oakville Galleries, Canada, surveyed the Gairloch Gardens. In this new work, 2 high definition cameras observed the city of Montréal to the east and to the west from the top of a 5 story building over the course of one year. The computer now wanders through these databases, stitching together leisurely continuous pans around the city, staying true to the original spatial trajectory but shifting unpredictably through time.

This cavalier relationship to time echoes the movement of human memory as its leaps back and forth across time.  But the work gives this fluid time travel of memory the immediacy of vision. The sensation of the pan keeps the eye in the present, drawn to consider the changes in the image as though they were plays of sun and light, to interpret them as live, unfolding experience. But just beneath this shifting surface there is a sensation of something very still, something like an ideal Montréal hanging in a hybrid space between particulars and abstraction. 

Also on view will be new photographic work based on the accumulated database of 750,000 images that make up Machine for Taking Time.

Rokeby is also presenting several new video works from the continuing series of motion studies entitled “Plots Against Time”. These works are attempts to visualize the extended present which French philosopher Henri Bergson called “duration”… the present pregnant with the past. In these works, Rokeby effectively stretches the viewer’s eye across time to offer a perceptual experience of duration.

Finally, Rokeby presents a new interpretation of his classic work “Watch” which separates video into images of stillness and motion, nouns and verbs, winnowing out and illuminating fundamental processes underlying vision.

Over the past year, David Rokeby launched a massive kinetic sculpture at the Ontario Science Centre, Toronto, presented his interactive installation “Taken” at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, had retrospectives at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Glasgow, at FACT in Liverpool, and the Art Gallery of Windsor, exhibited 3 installations at the Museé des Beaux Arts de Montréal, and completed a major new commission for the Fondation Daniel Langlois. An incomplete list of exhibitions for 2008 includes shows in China, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Denmark and two public art projects, one at the Hamilton Airport and a second at Dundas Square in Toronto.

Rokeby’s installations have been exhibited extensively in the Americas, Europe and Asia. He has been an invited speaker at events around the world, and has published two papers that are required reading in the new media arts faculties of many universities. He represented Canada at the 2004 Sao Paulo Bienal in Brazil and the 2002 Venice Biennale of Architecture.  Rokeby has received many awards including a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, Canada’s highest honour in visual art, and the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica for Interactive Art (Austria). 

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