Still from video installation "Gordijn."
Wyn Geleynse: still from video installation "Gordijn."
WYN GELEYNSE, Curtain
Oct 13 – Nov 12, 2005,
By Kay Burns
The current exhibition at TrépanierBaer shows a definite departure for London, Ontario, artist Wyn Geleynse.
Previously Geleynse’s work consisted of installation environments incorporating objects and/or images as context and surface for film or video projections. Past works play with the relationship between the projected image and the material they are screened on. One of Geleynse’s works, Untitled (Pinocchio), 2000, on display as part of the TrépanierBaer show, addresses this previous approach to his work. In it, two moving images projected onto sandblasted glass (set amongst numerous books) include a figure of an aging Pinocchio wandering aimlessly with the sound of his creaking wooden bones, being observed from above by a man in a suit squeakily swinging in a red velvet swing. There is poignancy to the work; as viewers we are uncertain whether to feel empathy for the incongruous Pinocchio figure or resentment for the man who seems to hold some kind of powerful position above him. But this kind of floating figure installation projection is what we expect from Geleynse: playful illusion drawing us in to its portrayal of the human condition through the potential narrative of the image.
The focal point of the exhibition is a new video installation entitledGordijn. This piece excludes the objects and the small multiple projections previously associated with Geleynse’s work, and is instead a large single channel projection of a 7.5-minute video loop. The imagery consists of moving and still images of various places: a hotel room in Lethbridge, a Lisbon city street and restaurant interior, an apartment in Paris, and a park in winter in London, Ontario. The pacing is slow and mesmerizing. The accompanying audio is minimal and includes ambient sounds from the park, a musical note from a Japanese instrument, footsteps and occasional voices. The accumulated experience of this work is a sensation of isolation and a feeling that something has occurred, but any kind of linear narrative is ambiguous — it is implied but fleeting. It is as if the viewer is on the periphery looking in, perhaps too late, trying to reconcile the sequence of places and sounds that seem to be just outside the main action. We are left with a sensation of having witnessed something but uncertain as to what that was.
The presentation form of this work is a departure for Geleynse, but as viewers we still are left with questions regarding human condition and relationships. The sense of illusion explored in his prior work is missing, but the contemplative experience affects us in a similar way. The imagery is more direct, but the content is allusive, leaving us to quietly create our own narrative interpretation that hovers just beyond our reach.
There are a couple of other smaller works in the exhibition too, maquettes for full-scale vehicular interventions that disrupt our normal expectations for the vehicles to create new meaning. The small works offer a potentially saleable commodity for the gallery: TrépanierBaer continues to lead the way as a commercial gallery willing to take risks by representing a number of media artists to broaden the expectations and desires of art consumers.