Tuesday, May 23, 2006

old drunks at the library

This art looks like my workplace.

— Marcel Duchamp

“Je cherche en même temps l’éternel et l’éphémère.”
— Georges Perec

"For twenty years, Daniel Olson has been presenting works of ambiguous intention. An anachronistic film star peering through the wrong end of the spyglass, he reveals a world with a distinct carnival atmosphere, but where an air of death hangs over everything. At heart a poet, and a thief, Olson plays at working and works at playing in pursuit of the marvellous and the ungraspable. His works are a poetry of almost nothing, simple gestures imbued with extreme significance, small explosions where very little happens—but in an interesting way.

In this exhibition, two new video projects continue Olson’s private investigations of ghosts and doubles. In Beside Myself, two ghost-like versions of the artist at work and at play on a typewriter and a toy piano—or is it the other way around?— come together in an office. In Olson-Welles, he attempts the impossible feat of inhabiting the past, something he has successfully failed at twice before by positioning himself within projected images of his father and of himself as a child. This time he has chosen Orson Welles, the director of one of the greatest films of all time, and arguably the biggest failure of the twentieth century.
It’s not that Olson believes in the supernatural—he is an obstinate non-believer in almost everything—nor that he considers himself the equal of Welles or the other great figures with whom he “collaborates.” But if you’re bound to fail—and we’re all going down eventually—you might as well do it in an interesting way.
— Leo Danielson

From www.optica.ca

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