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Owen Kydd: Frames Between Photo and Film

That Owen Kydd once worked as one of Jeff Wall’s studio assistants should come as no surprise to anyone who has encountered the Calgary-born, Vancouver-based artist’s arresting video installations. Displayed in triptych format on large flat-screen monitors, Kydd’s videos feature long, uninterrupted shots of the residents and streetscapes found in marginalized urban areas along the west coast of North America. Though the works bear a striking resemblance to Wall’s staged lightbox photographs, which the artist has often termed “cinematographic photographs,” Kydd’s works are in fact moving images that function as an inversion of Wall’s practice: a kind of “photographic cinema.”

Now, as the 10th edition of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s NEXT series, which features projects by emerging artists from the Pacific Rim, Kydd is showing three of his video installations—Mission, depicting residents in the post-agricultural suburb outside of Vancouver; Night, set in the nighttime streets of the Downtown Eastside; and Joshua, focusing on the settlements around Joshua Tree National Park in California—alongside more traditional landscape and portrait pieces on view at the gallery by Scott McFarland, Emily Carr and the Group of Seven. Kydd’s playful investigation of the spaces between photography and cinema, stasis and movement, city and suburb seems a fitting next step in the recent history of the Vancouver School and its protegés. (750 Hornby St, Vancouver BC)

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