Part of Fall 2004
Sponsored by the York University Department of Film & Video
Pleasure Dome is pleased to present Vancouver-based media artist Alex MacKenzie’s most recent expanded cinema piece, Parallax, a suite of short works performed with two antique 16mm analytic projectors. Using found footage, selected from a personal collection of several thousand industrial and educational films, MacKenzie explores the interception of psyche and culture – the space where mind meets matter – and the conflict that ensues. Parallax invokes an anamorphic rupture of the screen width: individual light beams cross territories, negative and positive blend and cross-hybridize to create a beauty in the inherent violence of existence. Taking third-wave avant-gardists such as Landow, Sharits, Rimmer and Jacobs as point of departure, MacKenzie uses speed variations, lens manipulation, masking and film chemistry to create images that shudder and shimmer across the screen. His work occupies space both within narrative and abstract territory: a hands-on manipulation and complex of ideas that stretch from the conceptual to the potential gestures contained within the projection device itself. Further, MacKenzie’s audio formulations source original field recordings, the internet, appropriated recordings and the actual film soundtracks to invoke a dramatic subterfuge where order and chaos unbind.
Alex MacKenzie has been working with various expanded cinema models for over a decade, presenting his works across Europe and North America. He was the founder and programmer of both the Edison Electric Gallery of Moving Images and the Blinding Light!! Cinema in Vancouver and continues to pursue film and video programming independently.
“These pictures hail from a mass of reels that gather dust in the basement, the selection process often based on the uncertain potential of a title writ small and blurry on an oily cannister, withdrawn from some edu-collection lacking current currency. More than just empty nostalgia and retro novelties, these reels carry with them a genuine magnitude of purpose, a kind of potency and ambition informed by their narrative arguments and the sophistication of their composition. After selecting, altering, manipulating and reintroducing these images through projection, the work speaks to the beauty in the image; the potential to be found in a handful of old film frames, re-exposed and studied under a magnifying glass, exercising and exorcising desire, fear, and the human condition.” (Alex MacKenzie)
Alex will also be presenting Parallax on Thursday, October 7, 6 pm @ Nat Taylor Cinema (North Ross Bldg 102), York University, 4700 Keele St., Toronto. Sponsored by the York University Department of Film & Video with the assistance of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies.