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Pleasure Dome is pleased to present the a survey of films and videos by Oliver Husain produced during his residency in Toronto over the past six years. “A film is made in the mind of the viewer at the moment of its screening, as much as it is produced by its team of creators. Of course this might be banal and apply to all other art forms as well, but I’m fascinated how this paradox manifests itself on the screen, and can be localized there. The two kinds of projections, a mechanical beam of light and the self-projection of the viewer, are thrown onto the screen simultaneously; my recent films and videos have been interested in this peculiar meeting point, and how a screen can take on qualities of a window, a stage, a mirror, or a filter to view the world. The title of the program hints at my status in Canada in the years those works were produced.” (Oliver Husain)
Rushes for Five Hats, 2007, 16mm, screening performance, 12 min.
Green Dolphin, 2008, video, 15 min.
Dear What’s Your Face, 2010, video with live voice over, 6 min.
Item Number, 2012, video, 16 min.
Mount Shasta, 2008, 16mm, 8 min.
Hovering Proxies, 2010, 16mm on video, silent, 4 min.
Moth Maze, 2012, video, live music, 6:30 min.
Parade, 2013, video, 11 min.
The program corresponds to two exhibitions:
“Beside the point” at Susan Hobbs Gallery, January 15 — February 21, 2015
“Depth of Perception” Oakville Galleries, January 18 — March 15, 2015
Born in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, Oliver Husain studied film and media art in Offenbach, Germany and Gujarat, India. Today he lives and works in Toronto. Husain’s films and video works include music videos, 3-D-animations, performance and sometimes incorporate Bollywood dance choreographies. Shot in Germany, India, Indonesia, China and other places these works are playful travelogues of a space that never existed. Through the combination of computer generated sets with photographed film Husain creates an artificial ambience. Fabrics, hats, feathers interrupt smooth surfaces and connect that which happens onscreen with the space of the cinema. “I often begin with a portrait of a person or place. The outcome is a video or film, a text or a textile; something foldable that can be stored away easily, or something standing on thin chopstick legs. Something that might collapse under the eyes of the viewer – in a film, this could be its fragile narrative structure. The viewers are left with holding up their side by themselves. In this way, I am constructing attractive traps.”
His experimental short films and videos have been shown at numerous international film festivals, including Toronto International Film Festival; London Film Festival; Experimenta India, Bangalore; Mar del Plata International Film Festival and Rotterdam Film Festival. In 2003, Husain’s video Q was awarded with the National Award from the Government of Germany. In 2008, he was a featured filmmaker at the Flaherty Film Seminar in Colgate, New York. His film Item Number won the award for Best German Film at the Oberhausen Short Film Festival in 2012. Husain’s installations and expanded cinema performances have been exhibited at many galleries, including the Art Gallery of York University, Toronto; Galeri Nasional, Jakarta; Greene Naftali Gallery, New York City; ICA Philadelphia; Frankfurter Kunstverein and Fridericianum, Kassel. After completing his MFA in film and media art at Hochschule für Gestaltung, Offenbach, Germany in 1998, Husain was founding member of two collectives: the theatre troupe Da Group (1999 – ongoing), which staged elaborate installations and musical and theatrical performances; and the award-winning music video production Husain / Klöfkorn (1996 – 2002). A book on his work, Oliver Husain; Spoiler Alert, was published in 2012 by Art Gallery of York University. www.husain.de
Jay Sanders, who recently co-curated the 2012 Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial, has described Husain as “reactivat[ing] that unwanted space between the surface of our eyes and the looking-glass movie world.”
Oliver Husain: Hybrid Hijinks
A feature from the Summer 2012 issue of Canadian Art (July 26, 2012) by Jon Davies
Rushes for Five Hats, Greene Naftali Gallery New York City 2007
Dear What's Your Face