Review by Sarah Todd
In an attempt to sap some of the frantic energy of exam season, I headed up to the University of Calgary’s Nickle Galleries. They are currently featuring an ambitious retrospective — primarily in multi-channel video — of Canmore-based artist (and former photojournalist) Dan Hudson’s work alongside a seasonally appropriate BFA exhibition. The Hudson exhibition features a wide range of moving images on monitors and as projections, but the main draw is the newest and perhaps most ambitious of his creations to date: a twelve-channel video installation titled 360.
Simple but remarkably immersive, this work sits the viewer in the centre of a circle of monitors depicting scenes of everyday life in Berlin between 2013 and 2015. The voyeuristic, fly-on-the-wall quality of the videos gives the viewer visually pleasing access to the goings-on of a city that is increasingly the centre of contemporary art production — certainly for Canadian artists. Each channel is meant to represent one of the twelve sections of the zodiac, but that doesn’t really matter; the work reads better as a much less prescribed meditation on the fluidity of both time and place. At its best 360 functions as a low-key documentary that will become only more interesting and important as time wears on — so it’s a good thing that the Nickle has decided to acquire it.
The overall exhibition is cleverly and beautifully installed in one of the strangest and most difficult gallery spaces to work with in this city. The BFA exhibition on the upper floor is worth a look too, mostly for Marina DiMaio’s compelling little orbs that contain strange waxen landscapes. I found it odd and a bit unfortunate that there wasn’t any work from the university’s MFA program on exhibition. It would have been nice to see what they are up to as well.
Nickle Galleries: http://nickle.ucalgary.ca/
Dan Hudson: 360 and Other Journeys continues until August 12.
Sarah Todd is a curator currently based in Calgary. She has previously worked at Western Front, InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre, XPACE Cultural Centre, and The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery. She has also produced projects with a range of organizations including Vtape, Kunstverein München, The Goethe Institute, The Pacific Cinematheque, Glenbow Museum and The Illingworth Kerr Gallery. She is Akimblog’s Calgary correspondent and can be followed on Twitter @sarahannetodd.
Originally published at akimbo.ca.