Jeremy Shaw: Phase Shifting Index
The Polygon Gallery presents the North American premiere of Jeremy Shaw’s latest and largest production to date, Phase Shifting Index, which was created for his solo exhibition in the Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Phase Shifting Index depicts seven autonomous groups engaged in embodied, movement-based belief systems that aspire to induce parallel realities. Employing various outmoded 20th-century media, ranging from 16mm film to Hi-8 video tape, Shaw presents what appears to be documentary footage as the distant future, creating cognitive dissonance within the viewers’ relation to a sense of place and time.
The dress, style and choreography of the subjects suggest found historical footage from the 1960s to the 1990s. Through variations of modern dance, popping and locking, jump-style, hardcore skanking, and trust exercises, they explore the potentials of physically altering reality.
At the peak of the dramatic action, the films begin to come undone in an ecstatic chaos that lands the entire seven-channel installation in a cross-temporal choreographic sync. This cohesive moment of dance spans across decades of time and media. Suddenly, all screens rupture in a meltdown of digital visual effects that consume the installation.
About Jeremy Shaw
A North Vancouver-born artist now based in Berlin, Jeremy Shaw works in a variety of media to explore altered states and the cultural and scientific practices that aspire to map transcendental experience. Often combining and amplifying strategies of verité filmmaking, conceptual art, music video and scientific research, he creates a post-documentary space in which disparate belief-systems and histories are thrown into an interpretive limbo. Shaw has had solo exhibitions at Centre Pompidou, Paris, MoMA PS1, New York, Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin, and MOCA, Toronto, and been featured in international surveys such as the 57th Venice Biennale and Manifesta 11. Shaw’s work is held in public collections worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; and Sammlung zeitgenössische Kunst der Bundesrepublik.
“Phase Shifting Index is powerful not only because it portrays transcendent experience, but because it induces that same experience in its viewers. Shaw’s questioning and validation of the ecstatic… is taken to a different level here. We are not just watching hypnosis; we are being hypnotized.” —Frieze
“Shaw doesn’t need conventional language to transport his concepts; his talent lies in allowing spectators to become integral to the work before they know it. It’s not so much about what we’re seeing or hearing, but how it makes us feel.” —Wallpaper
Please note: this exhibition contains flashing lights.
Banner Image: Jeremy Shaw, Phase Shifting Index, 2020, 7 channel video, sound and light installation. Courtesy of the artist.
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