The hand-crafted, artisanal ways of fine art have undergone many changes over the past century. The most drastic line of departure has had to do with the defining presence of the era being motion–physical and, more importantly, conscious. Thus an alert contemporary artist like Tim Deverell, in his composition, The Offspring (2014),painstakingly lays down a canebrake of possible specific slowdowns while illuminating an overall complex play of fluid directions and their tonal shadings. This kind of work makes a difference, a very subtle difference.
But other kinds of subtleties in that same invitation allow of a startlingly different vigor of disclosure.
Film artist, Dominique Skoltz, has, at this time (September, 2015), a film holding forth in a Toronto art gallery. Her work is in no way artisanal in its results, though in its construction of a set comprising a swimming pool with glass walls it does require hand crafting. Shown here is a discharge of the agitations of a couple lifted by a primordial fluidity and bewildered by primordial volatility.
In a series of eight scenes the protagonists take flight upon overtures within an overall fluidity and in such accomplishments of motion they come to bear as hybrids of matter and consciousness. That status especially makes its mark in the initiatives of each forming ventures on behalf of interpersonal affection and dazzlement.
Venturing is one thing. Accomplishing is something else. And Skoltz brings to us many vignettes of association coming undone.
Life supports. Life threats.
Eons ago, early Greek philosopher and early modernist, Heraclitus, declared “War is the father of all and the king of all…” Here we have warfare at sea, made bountifully strange by its capture on digital camera work.
Plying waters of possibility; and a run of ruinous solitude.
Walking wounded in the wars of elemental power.
This incursion of avant-garde film–having, it needs saying, nothing to do with the ascetic, precious, sensory deprived pseudo-science having taken upon itself the mantle of “experimental” in the sense of advanced–into an art gallery (Toronto’s Arsenal Gallery, being an offshoot of the Montreal Gallery of the same name) coincides with a recent flood of spectacles inhabiting circus tents, arenas and theatres replete with unlikely apparatus like the rock-climbing wall in the work by Brazilian choreographer, Deborah Colker, titled Mix (Skoltz’s y2o putting on the line the glories and the devastation of intentional, interpersonal, “mixing” experience).