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John Wood and Paul Harrison, installation view from ‘I DIDN’T KNOW I DIDN’T KNOW IT’, Contemporary Art Gallery, February 12 – April 24, 2016. Photography by SITE Photography


UBC Intern Patrick O’Neill in conversation with Jeremy Shaw | Part 3 of 3

Jeremy Shaw, Degenerative Imaging (In the Dark), 2014. Photograph SITE Photography.

This is the third and final installment of a series of interview questions between UBC Intern Patrick O’Neill and Jeremy Shaw, around Jeremy Shaw’s 2015 exhibition here at CAG, Medium-based Time (February 26-April 19).
Patrick O’Neill: In an interview with 032c Magazine you said that you had a “[…] real fondness for the manipulative possibility of the cinematic experience.” If we look at how Variation FQ relates to Quickeners, this idea about the manipulative possibility of the cinematic experience is especially present in both works. Various cinematic elements are utilized in each film and in the way each room is crafted as an immersive installation. Is the idea of cinema as manipulative experience something you wish the viewer to pick up on?

Jeremy Shaw: I think the way that I am amplifying these manipulative possibilities is quite pronounced in the work – my use of devices and clichés is very apparent.  This isn’t to say that that makes them obvious to the viewer, as they’re proven manipulative by design, so may be working in a way that people don’t recognize immediately.   If I was truly creating work that’s in keeping with this potential, they may never be picked up on, but I don’t mind either way. I have always loved walking away from an art work or film with the feeling that I’ve been had a little bit – like I’ve been tricked or lead some way or other unknowingly and possibly even against my own usual judgement.

In what way do you think this understanding, or awareness, might affect the reading of the themes within each film?

This use of techniques are an amplification of the things I love about cinema, music video, documentary, etc – so I see them as a way to push the themes even harder, but to do it in a way that’s moving, alluring, entertaining, repelling, whatever – it’s amplified.  I tend to celebrate things in my works – even things I may not fully agree with, but that I find a beauty in the core of.  I often ride a line between this celebration and critique via this use cinematic device, but essentially, I leave things nebulous.  I don’t attempt to force a certain reading – only possibilities.