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Optical Illusions

January 25, 2003 - March 8, 2003


Curator:
Year 2003 Theme Nova Scotian Artists, Photography, Sculpture & Installation

Assembled by Curatorial Assistant Renato Vitic, the art in this exhibition points to the instability of memory by associating it with the optical illusion. In her monumental installation Our Red Scarf, Darci Mallon commemorates a friendship in transparent materials by means of fingerprinting, drawing and casting. Freda Guttman’s haunting aluminum “phonographs” feature anamorphic photographs of Hitler that resolve when reflected on rotating turntables. In the trick photographs of Carl Zimmerman, which have not previously been exhibited, colossal civic monuments that never existed evoke the fascist aesthetics of pre-war technologism.

Guttman (Montreal), Mallon (Edmonton), and Zimmerman (Cape Breton) share a fascination with optical techniques that reveal the mutability of photographs and other trace images. These are all images which can be interpreted as evidence of the past. Using allegory, metaphor and reflexive surprise, the optical illusions seen here work against the objective realism of one-point linear perspective.

Reception & Artists’ Talks
On Wednesday, 22 January, visiting artist Darci Mallon presented an illustrated talk at the Khyber. On Sunday 26 January, during an informal reception, Freda Guttman and Carl Zimmerman conducted a walkabout tour of the exhibition.