Past Exhibition

April 22—May 20, 2017

Carol Sawyer

I attempt from love’s sickness to fly, in vain

I attempt from love’s sickness to fly, in vain, is an exhibition of video and photographs based on a performance of an aria written by the English baroque composer Henry Purcell. The work explores a number of seemingly opposite concepts: theatricality/realism, period/ contemporary, fragment/ whole, youth/ age, health/ sickness, etc.

The video is set in a large ballroom with a proscenium arch stage at one end. A costumed, bewigged singer and viola di gamba player perform the aria, dance, rest, and perform the aria again – caught in a repeating loop complicated by the aria’s da capo structure, which could theoretically cycle endlessly.

The visual language used to construct the video builds on the textual, musical, emotional, and metaphorical complexity of the aria and performance. Multiple channels of video are combined to make one panoramic image, resulting in distortions and repetitions in the architectural space, which contribute to a sense that both the physical and metaphorical spaces described are shifting and unstable.

The artist gratefully acknowledges Richard Metzger of Inspired Image Picture Company Inc., and the support of the British Columbia Arts Council. The artist also acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.

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