… The reason I find myself so interested in installation work these days is that it allows me to address the more formal aspects of my work without needing to explain to distributors why masses of people would want to see something ... I’m often torn between the sense of concentration that a gallery viewer brings to their experience of watching something in a dedicated space, and the need to reach out to a larger audience. In the past decade, a number of artists have tried making feature films (Rebecca Horn, Robert Longo, Cindy Sherman, Julian Schnabel, et cetera) with varying degrees of success. Are you drawn to this format? And if so, why?
… There is a lot of freedom in the art world and a lot of openness to alternative approaches to cinematic pieces, but I think for some artists, including myself, the attraction to the film world is about getting access to a larger audience and even more than that, the poetics of the space. Cinemas, especially the larger ones, are just so cool. I have ideas for films but I don’t think I could ever deal with the “political” structure—as you call it—of producing one. It’s too much of a foreign language to me …
When cinema and contemporary art intersect.
Janet Cardiff is a Canadian contemporary artist who is known for her incredibly immersive audio walks and sound installations. She often experiments with narrative conventions and cinematic formats in her work.
Atom Egoyan is an acclaimed Armenian-Canadian filmmaker whose films often pay great attention to visual textures, our relationship to image representation/reproduction, contemporary intimacy in the age of technology, and the management of trauma through ritual.
They are both rare artists who are able to combine complex theoretical ideas with an immediate emotional resonance. Viewing/listening to their work is always a layered experience.