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Quaver, (2002-2010), interactive video stallation, still

David Rokeby

March 25–May 29, 2010

For his solo exhibition at Pari Nadimi Gallery Rokeby presents new video and interactive works exploring many of his favourite topics: space, time, perception, language and the body.  Plot Against Time #3 (Insect Sonata (after Scriabin)), a single channel video, draws out the trajectories of insects in the artist’s shady garden as they pass through beams of sunlight on a rare windless day in spring. The work’s subtitle refers to early modern Russian composer Alexander Scriabin’s 10th Sonata about which he wrote “My Tenth Sonata is a sonata of insects. Insects are born from the sun [...] they are the kisses of the sun.” Quaver, an interactive video installation, is a playful confrontation between language and the body… an exploration of voice as the place where the alphabet most directly meets flesh. Murmurscape (Montréal) draws from a year’s worth of images of the city of Montreal recorded for his 2007 work “Machine for Taking Time (boul. St-Laurent). Letter-shaped fragments excised from this archive are melded into a collage that simmers, froths and burbles… The cityscape fights to the surface…

Over the past three years, David Rokeby created “long wave”, a 400 foot long sculpture in Brookfield Place for Luminato 09, presented his interactive installation “Taken” at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, exhibited a major four channel video installation at eArtS BEYOND in Shanghai, China, 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 2008/9 includes shows in China, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Spain, and Denmark.

Rokeby’s seminal work Very Nervous System (1982-1994) was featured at SEE THIS SOUND. PROMISES IN SOUND AND VISION exhibition at the Lentos Art Museum (Linz, Austria) together with the works of artists Laurie Anderson, VALIE EXPORT, Douglas Gordon, Dan Graham, Rodney Graham, and Christian Marclay among many notable others. 

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, and the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica for Interactive Art (Austria).  Rokeby’s works are included in the collections of national and international private collectors and public institutions.

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