Grapple with logic, surrender to mystery

Toronto based artist and curator Aubrey Reeves brings Glide to Market Square

Credit: 
Supplied
Credit: 
Supplied

1. Who are you?

Aubrey Reeves.

2. What do you do?

I make films, videos, installations and drawings. Often these practices overlap within the same artwork.


3. What are you inspired by?

I’m inspired by a huge range of things but there always has to be a compelling story at the heart of it. I am an eclectic, avid reader. I love to do research without a really specific outcome in mind and just see where it takes me. I find stories by browsing library shelves in historical sections, picking up scientific books, especially archaic texts and finding weird correlations between things.

4. How did you begin working with the concept of ice-skating?

I live just up the street from an outdoor ice rink. During the winter I like to go skating in the evenings after work. At night, once the kids have gone home for dinner I can sometimes have the rink all to myself. I find it is a really great time for clearing my mind and thinking about creative ideas in a different way. So during one of these night-time skates I started wondering about how ice skating worked. When I got home I started to do some research and I was surprised to find out that there wasn’t really a clear scientific answer to that question. That’s when I knew it was something worth exploring much further.


5. What was the most satisfying aspect of creating Glide?

With each project I undertake I want to be learning something new. In the case of Glide I was interested in learning how to do traditional animation, in particular I was experimenting with using rotoscoping technique. I found it really satisfying to translate the movement of the skater originally captured on film into drawings with India Ink. It was very time consuming—basically I did one drawing a day for 300 days! But I really enjoyed doing my
daily drawing.

6. The most challenging?

Probably the most frustrating lesson was when I turned my attention to learning the 16mm animation stand at the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers. I made a few mistakes the first time I shot the film so I had to do the whole thing over again. That’s a costly mistake when you are working in 16mm film.

7. The piece grapples with issues of contrasting the scientific with the poetic, do you feel a connection to both concepts?

Absolutely, I do feel connected to both. Science and art are both means through which we understand the world. Both fields are striving to find solutions for the same questions—about the nature of space, time, matter, how we think, feel and become who we are as humans. So while it seems their methods are very different, both scientists and artists have a lot in common.

8. What do you feel your role is as an artist?

The role of an artist is to offer new ways of seeing the things in the world we usually take for granted.

9. How was the Kasseler Documentary Film and Video Fest in Germany?

It was great. They do a big exhibition of international film and video installations in three different buildings including one in the train station. Kassel is not a huge city but Germans are very supportive of the arts so there was a surprisingly large audience for the exhibition.

Reeves’ dual-screen installation piece Glide is just under four minutes long and is looping tomorrow from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in Kingston’s Market Square.

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