Tag Archives: Herman Melville

Adrift: Matthew Buckingham’s Obscure Moorings at Satellite

by Sarah Davidson

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Matthew Buckingham’s show, on now at Satellite, situates viewers in a strange position relative to his wandering film. Viewers are implicated in the act of understanding the film, and this is highlighted most immediately by the artist’s spatial intervention in the gallery: a gigantic wave-shaped viewing platform, covered in carpet. Buckingham often takes history and narrative as his subjects, and this work is no exception. In Obscure Moorings, based on an obscure character sketch by Herman Melville, a defunct sailor meanders unhappily through modern-day Liverpool and eventually dies.

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Performing Intertextuality: An Unconventional Tour of Phantasmagoria

by Liza Montgomery

Phantasmagoria, left: MATHEW MCWILLIAMSPhantasmagoria at Presentation House Gallery

Aaron Peck’s brief but enlightening “tour” of Presentation House Gallery’s Phantasmagoria was far from conventional. Much to my delight—and possibly some other attendees’ confusion—rather than reiterating the curatorial narrative, Peck, a local art critic and writer, staged a performative rewriting of it. By offering up an open-ended alternative reading of the artwork, he highlighted the intertextual nature of meaning formation, drawing attention to the shifting conditions that influence our relationship to an artwork. These are important considerations given the form and function of Phantasmagoria—a group show that captures the Zeitgeist of current photo-based art practices in Vancouver.

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