Canadian Art

See It

Eric Deis: Vancity’s New View Finder

Elissa Cristall Gallery, Vancouver Oct 1 to 29 2009
Eric Deis  <I>Dundas Street</I>  2009 Eric Deis Dundas Street 2009

Eric Deis <I>Dundas Street</I> 2009

Questions of perspective abound in the work of Vancouver photographer Eric Deis, which is featured in the exhibition “Shadows Cast on Imagination’s Past” currently on view at Elissa Cristall Gallery. But the issues Deis presents are not necessarily ones of narrowed visual scopes or concentrated points of view; rather, it’s the narrative potential of an all-encompassing picture plane that lies at the root of Deis’ image-making. Shot with a custom “virtual-view” camera system designed to broaden the range of traditional photographic perspective, Deis’ large-scale images read like visual storyboards that gather in the entirety of everyday cityscape and architectural dynamics. Dundas Street, a horizontal view of Victorian-era houses under renovation across from Frank Gehry's looming Art Gallery of Ontario, offers a panoptic tale of urban history in development. Similarly, Deis’ Hipsters and Drug Dealer captures the shifting cultural demographic of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside centred on the demolition of the historic Woodward’s building. In another photo, Mist, the imagined narratives of a tourist throng are set against the enduring power of Niagara Falls as a telling collision of modern society and natural spectacle. The key to all of the works included in the exhibition is not the focus of one point of view, but the complexity of many. As Deis summed it up in a recent online interview: “I’m just doing more or less straight photography—the world we live in is more bizarre than anything I could possibly conceive myself. With those little details it’s just a matter of being able to see.” (2245 Granville St, Vancouver BC)

This article was first published online on October 8, 2009.

RELATED STORIES

 

FOUNDATION NEWS

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

ONLINE

  • Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller: Black Birds

    New York critic Joseph R. Wolin heads to the Park Avenue Armory where Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller are creating a buzz (and other sounds) at the US premiere of a dark, nightmarish installation originally created for the 2008 Biennale of Sydney.

  • Grange Prize 2012: Hot Shots

    One of Canada’s largest cash-value art prizes—$65,000 in total with $50,000 going to the winner, $5,000 to three runners-up—announced its finalists this week. Take in their wide-ranging works in this slideshow.

  • Wanda Koop: Into the Woods

    A visit to Wanda Koop’s cabin near Riding Mountain National Park in southern Manitoba proves intriguing for Vancouver critic Robin Laurence. There, Laurence writes, Koop bridges old Grey Owl myths with a new series of paintings on our increasingly digital culture.

  • Brad Tinmouth: Survival Strategies

    The basement of an art gallery may seem an unlikely place to create an emergency shelter. However, Xpace's lower gallery is an ideal setting for Brad Tinmouth's “If Times Get Tough or Even If They Don't,” which evokes a cold-war bunker.

  • Wim Delvoye: Blame it on Paris

    Silk-covered pigs, lattice-cut car tires and a tattooed man are just a few of the works that Belgian artist Wim Delvoye has shuttled into the old, Gothic wing of the Louvre this summer. Jill Glessing reviews, finding a terrific amalgam of high and low.

More Online

Report a problem