Aryen Hoekstra

To see an Obscurity

April 30 - May 4, 2013

Opening Reception Thursday May 2nd, 7-9 pm

To See an Obscurity is an exhibition of new work by Aryen Hoekstra including collage, drawing, projection, and video. Structured upon an interrogation of the relationship between image and darkness within film, Hoekstra examines the radical potentiality immanent to the material of the moving-image, examining its effect on the shaping of behaviour, gesture and thought throughout modernity and the spectre thus cast upon our contemporary condition.

The central work of the exhibition, the projected installation Out Of Focus (RGB), takes formal cues from experimental film and abstract animation histories, as three slide projectors, each project a single empty slide through a coloured filter. As the projectors attempt to find focus within the ‘image’ they become caught in a ceaseless loop, an unending attempt at auto-focusing. Where all three overlap on the screen, a white light is produced. Around the frame, as they meander through possible lens adjustments, they reveal either their primary colour source, or, in cases where only two overlap, secondary inflections.

As the product of the actual movements of the projection apparatus the on screen image operates outside the illusory history of cinematic projection. Instead, it reflexively examines the peculiarities of the technology, particularly the projection event as a sculptural/mechanical presence that orients the viewer through the spatial relationship between projector, screen and the projected image.
Another work, a suite of 24 perspectival drawings titled Zeno’s Screen examines the moving image as illusion. Working in the material language of cinematic projection, the drawings present 24 frames (one second of film) of a shifting screen in a darkened space. Based on the same principle as a flipbook, but instead arranged across one wall, the viewer must actively link each drawing to its neighbour in order to read the screens movement. The blackened screen of Zeno’s Screen operates both as the image and the interval, the light and the darkness.

Whereas the perspectival drawings of Zeno’s Screen make reference to linear space and time, the three projectors of Out of Focus (RGB) speak of a multitude of spectators, each gazing/projecting from a unique vantage point. Within the exhibition To See an Obscurity these works speak of the capacity of the moving image to capture and orient viewers in space, and to the further mediation of relations through apparatus.

Aryen Hoekstra (b. 1982, Edmonton) is currently studying toward a Masters of Fine Art at the University of Guelph. This exhibition is in partial fulfillment of his degree requirement, alongside a thesis paper under the same title. His video and projected works have been featured in Border Crossings and TOWARDS Magazine. He has exhibited throughout Alberta and Ontario with upcoming solo and group shows at Boarding House Gallery, Guelph, XPACE Cultural Centre, Toronto and Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto.

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