Parking Spot Opening: Film at 11

“Film At 11”  Paintings by Paul Carr and Jordy Hamilton, Curated by Sharon Bradley
The Parking Spot – 8 East Cordova July 22 – August 2, 2006, Opening reception July 21, 7:00, Viewings July 22 & 23, 12:00 – 6:00, or by appointment

“Film At 11”, an expression originating from television newsbroadcasting, follows a promotion aired earlier in the evening for a breaking or remarkable story to be elaborated upon at a later time.  The phrase has now evolved in popular culture as a joke where trivial or obvious incidents are inflated into momentous, life-or-death situations.  “The American Dental Association announced today that most plaque tends to form on teeth around 4:00 p.m.  Film at 11.”  Adversely, the joke can be told with a life-threatening emergency that is mentioned but not expanded on, leaving the hypothetical viewers in a panic.  “A common product in your home can
kill you while you sleep.  Film at 11.”  In both contexts, the idiom comments on the sensationalist and frequently ridiculous manner of contemporary news reporting.

Paul Carr and Jordy Hamilton use images from the media to similar effect, by taking photographic images from news sources and reinterpreting them as paintings.  Living and studying in a city famous for its innovative work in photography, their works also function as a response to the prevalent practice of eschewing painting in favor of more “contemporary” mediums.  While many Vancouver artists have created photographs based on classic paintings, Hamilton and Carr conceive paintings inspired by the deluge of photographic images produced by the mass media.

Hamilton draws inspiration from the glossy, technically beautiful photographs of National Geographic magazine.  He paints large-scale reproductions of the visuals on printed linens placed across canvas stretchers.  The content of the magazine pages represent a kind of pseudo-news; iconic images manufactured for a  predominately Western audience, that highlight both our dominant relationship with nature and the exoticism of other cultures.  His paintings explore ideas of human ideology and perceived progress while simultaneously examining construction and selection of media.  Presented in a large format on old bedding, and without the slick presentation of print,  the scenes become less heroic and more comical.

Carr confronts the rapidly expanding world of Internet news and images in his series “Tell Me What To Paint”.  By soliciting phrase suggestions from individuals, he establishes a kind of artist-patron relationship with his audience.  These phrases are then entered into an Internet image search engine, and he paints a composition based on selected results.  The end product is usually something completely misrepresentative of the original intention and meaning.  While the abundance of information available on the Internet is often associated with an ease of exchange and flow of ideas, Carr’s works posit that unfiltered information and electronic communication can cause a breakdown in connection and reception.

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