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Vancouver Art Gallery Looks Anew at New Media by Three Remarkable Artists
Eadweard Muybridge, [Boxing; stop for cross-buttocks (shoes)] Plate 331 from Animal Locomotion, 1887, collotype. Private Collection, Vancouver.
VANCOUVER, BC.- Although living in different places and moments in time, three remarkable artists -- Jim Campbell, Chris Marker and Eadweard Muybridge - are joined by their passion for exploring complex ideas through the new media of their eras. Opening on April 2nd, Walking + Falling: Jim Campbell, Chris Marker and Eadweard Muybridge presents explorations of the concepts of movement, time and memory. In juxtaposing the work of these artists, the exhibition gives viewers the opportunity to reflect on the evolution of photo-based contemporary art and the very idea of ‘new’ media.

Each of the artists in Walking + Falling is a revolutionary in his own medium, in his own time.

Considered a pioneer of digital art, Jim Campbell (b. 1956) is a contemporary artist based in San Francisco . Trained in engineering and mathematics at MIT in Boston , Campbell uses computer software, electronic components and programming language to create provocative images of contemporary life. Fascinated by the representation of time and movement and their intricate relationship to the processes of memory, Campbell often relies on photo-based imagery for source material. He then manipulates and restructures this material to create forms that significantly challenge conventional notions of the photographic. An excellent example is the installation work Exploded View: comprised of more than 1100 flickering LEDs, from a distance it creates the impression of a figure running. Yet, upon closer inspection, it appears as ripples of darkness passing through a field of light. Exploded View is one of 12 works by Campbell in the exhibition.

Chris Marker (b. 1921) is a French filmmaker noted for his work in photo-based media. His 1962 film, La Jetée, is heralded as a masterpiece and has inspired generations of filmmakers, including Terry Gilliam and Mamoru Oshii. Visitors to Walking + Falling have the opportunity to watch the entire twenty-nine minute film in the Gallery. Constructed almost entirely from still photos, the film tells the story of a time-travel experiment set after a nuclear war. La Jetée’s hybrid form challenges our expectations of cinema and is widely regarded as a compelling meditation on time and memory.

Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) was an English photographer whose renowned sequential images of human and animal locomotion were the result of a combination of artistic vision and groundbreaking scientific study. Using multiple cameras and elaborate triggering devices, Muybridge was virtually able to stop time and created a series of photographic works that provide surprising and provocative insights into the mechanics and wonder of human and animal movement. Between 1883 and 1886, Muybridge made more than 100-thousand images. In Walking + Falling, Muybridge’s wide interests are revealed in the array of stop-motion images displayed, including people dancing, running, working, bathing and many other common activities.



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