Video Pool Media Arts Centre and Gurevich Fine Art present: Lei Cox - Being There with new work by Andrew Milne and Doug Smith.
Follow Lei Cox on a journey to fiction and back again. Video Pool Media Arts Centre in collaboration with Gurevich Fine Art are please to present a retrospective of Lei Cox`s work from 1986 to 2011. Current work includes: Being There. Comprised of three video performance works that form a triptych, each video has been inspired by a life long obsession with flight, space travel and human desire to push the envelope. Catching Sight of Sputnik 2009/11, Race 2010/11, and Auto Draw 2010 will be exhibited together displaying a range of work that begins with a 26-year quest to find a surrealistic fiction, or the unusual, in everyday life through the medium of photography and video.
Lei Cox works with video installation, video art, performance-to-camera and photography and has shown his work worldwide since 1985. His work has often been described a surreal, humorous and science fictional. Cox began working with black and white photography, this was essentially shot straight and with no special effects where finding the unusual in everyday landscapes and portraits was the dominant theme. These early photographs were made with full-frame purity, dramatic light with high contrast and tonal exaggeration. The work changed direction after considering experimentation with sandwich negatives in the enlarger, studio lighting work, filmmaking and video art and the vast possibilities of moving images and early digital video effects. Together with parallel interests in sound and music, video art and video installation became his main form of expression. Later utilizing digital broadcast quality production and post production equipment he began questioning the need for extensive compositing, the reliance of the computer and the over complication of some works which took up to two years to construct. Major solo exhibitions have been shown in the Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide, Centre for Contemporary Art, Glasgow, Laing Gallery, Newcastle and Gallery Rene Coelho, Amsterdam. Cox has also been exhibited in shows including Tel Aviv Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tate Gallery Liverpool, Osnabruck European Media Art Festival, His Single screen work has been shown in over 70 international festivals and he has recently completed an interactive camera obscura public artwork, The Dark Room: Mountain to Sea - Beyond Site which is situated on Cairngorm Mountain in Scotland.
A series of mechanical representations inquire about the future and the history of reproduction. Sculpture, photography, drawing, painting all move within the images resisting definition as any one medium. Reconstructions of body and vision are formed by the mechanical hand of a photographic artist; the gaze manifest as the shadow of shadows.
At the age of 31 years old Andrew quit his career as an Engineering Technologist and began an artistic practice in Vancouver involving photography, sculpture and contemporary dance. Working in the exchange he develops image making technologies, devices and machines that act as both product and process of his art practice. Andrew is asking if there is still a way to celebrate the physical and the personal within current and future systems of our technologically organized culture.
Andrew has received funding from the Manitoba Arts Council, the Winnipeg Arts Council, Video Pool Inc and the Winnipeg Film Group.
Defining identity is dubious, the identity of a period in time even more so. We do however, associate certain colours, fashions and values to specific eras in time; one example being the international exportation and influence of America's particular tastes and values via Hollywood. I revisit the notion of identity of previous decades, essentially Canadian and North American identity, through a series of inventive portraitures, using various painted surface treatments and hand-cut paper elements.
Doug Smith was educated at the University of Manitoba in the Fine Arts Diploma Program. He continued as a sculptor in clay for several years. In 1996 - 2001, Smith moved from Canada to Cleveland and Rotterdam. It was during his time in Rotterdam that he re-aligned his artistic practice towards drawing. The trajectory of his current drawing practice was greatly influenced by The Netherlands; a geologically vulnerable country whose history encompasses centuries of expansive mercantile entrepreneurship and superhuman engineering projects, yet also a historically mono-cultural country wrestling with contemporary immigration challenges. What initiated from this period, for Smith, was an experimental, diagrammatic-based art that probes the concept of human transmigrations. He places the optics not upon one particular country or city, but on the world stage, inferring the realm of a collective psyche. He utilizes a visual set of self-derived codes, symbols and images that are re-contextualized throughout an ongoing suite of narrative- based drawings; a project that would be brought to fruition after his return to Canada.
Video Pool Media Arts Centre is a nonprofit Artist-Run Centre dedicated to independent video, audio and computer integrated multimedia production, located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.