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Transcending the realms of reality

by Daisy Duncan November 6, 2018
Transcending the realms of reality

Corrupted Portal reshapes interdisciplinary points of view

Navigating the conceptual realms of reality and the otherworldly, the VAV Gallery’s current exhibition, Corrupted Portal, explores the spaces and complexities between the everyday and the mystical, the exhibition features a diverse mix of interdisciplinary works, ranging from painting to sculpture and performance art. Within each work, there is a distinctive style and form in how each artist interprets the exhibition’s theme. Each one creates a complex, diverse space for exploration and, by extension, new ideas are brought forth.

When first entering the gallery, the viewer’s eyes go directly to the collection of large paintings and prints on the walls. There is a visual theme in Corrupted Portal of bright, unnatural neon colours, which contributes to the overall concepts of the untraditional and the spaces between reality and the surreal. Sculptures showcased in the exhibition also use materials that explore the untraditional, and question otherworldly realms through their forms.

Juliana Delgado’s olfactory sculpture references recent events in Brazil, where a fire at the National Museum destroyed many invaluable items and works. The sculpture uses a mixture of scents to recreate the smell of the fire and the burning of these special artifacts and artworks.Taking a conceptual approach and including various sensory components, the reference of the very real fire is considered in a new, conceptual form.

Through the works, it is apparent how each artist personally interpreted the connections between the everyday and the otherworldly, and how that translates into their art. Themes and focuses explored by the respective artists include witchcraft, technology, institutions and structure in conjunction with the sublime. Themes of nature and the environment are also prominent in the varied artworks. The exhibition creates a space for viewers to explore all of these different realms and ideas, developing diverse and complex understandings of the relationship between reality and the mystical.

Zachary Potvin William’s painting, Crack of Dawn, uses bright, eye-catching colours, fluid forms and detailing. According to the artist’s statement, Williams is inspired by mythical aspects of botany and nature. As the statement shares, although Crack of Dawn explores “the subject of obscenity and perversity in a humoristic manner, formally it is a search for radiant light.”

IV Phases of the Salt Moon (I – IV) by Xan Shian is a quadriptych (four-piece series)made from digital collage and photo manipulation. The works focus on the moon and its phases, and create intricate textures through the digital work. As Shian explains in their artist statement, “the images query the nature of perceived reality, truthfulness in the digital epoch, and the reliability of memory.”

Corrupted Portal also includes a weaving performance by Scarlet Fountain as part of her ongoing work, Rope Project. Fountain is a Concordia theatre student exploring the boundaries between different disciplines, including performance art, visual art and theatre, which Rope Project considers through its form.

According to Fountain, the project began last year and was inspired by her volunteer work at the Concordia University Centre for Creative Reuse (CUCCR). The project considers the life cycle of materials and how communities can be represented through the waste they create and the materials they throw away. Fountain’s project also connects to concepts and allegories of diversity. By incorporating various mediums and binding them together to create a unified structure, Fountain mirrors the diversity of our communities.

Corrupted Portal will be at Concordia’s VAV Gallery until Nov. 9. Scarlet Fountain’s Rope Project weaving performances will take place every Monday from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the gallery, for the duration of the exhibition.

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