Indepth Arts News: |
"Stan Douglas: Le Detroit"
2001-03-31 until 2001-05-27
Stan Douglas, born in Vancouver in 1960, is one of the most
accomplished Canadian artists of the younger generation. His
intricate film installations always link the identity of the
selected venue and persons with a highly nuanced form of
pictorial mediation. Frequently, they have some bearing on
collective memories or make reference to an apparently
forgotten local or regional history. In all his works of the last
years Stan Douglas has shown himself to be a keen observer
of psychological states and processes of social alienation.
The film installation Le Détroit, to be shown for the first time
in Europe in the glass-roofed room of the Kunsthalle Basel,
takes the viewers to the heart of a city that is haunted by
dilapidation and unemployment and divided into strict social
hierarchies. Over a six-minute sequence we follow a young
black woman as she searches in an abandoned house for
something that remains a mystery to us. The narrative is
restarted over and over again in an endless loop.
The short story alludes to the novel The Haunting of Hill
House by Shirley Jackson, 1959. Douglas also draws
individual motifs from the Legends of Le Détroit edited by
Marie Hamlin in 1884.
Le Détroit is a double projection on a semi-transparent
screen. This gives rise to an interplay of blurred and reverse
effect: the black-and-white film on the one side becoming
superimposed with its white-black negative at a minimal time
interval. The symbolic negative underscores the social
tension generated in a place marked by traces of racially
motivated conflict. Simultaneously Stan Douglas explores the
potential and impact of film work.
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