Revive, archive and survive

Aceartinc showcases the work of two local, emerging artists with Revival and Archive

An image from Archive, a new solo exhibit by local artist Collin Zipp, now showing at Aceartinc.

Upon entering Aceartinc, you hear a barrage of sounds coming from behind a black curtain. There is a steady bass sound accompanied by jumbled up voices and sounds that put you in a dreamland. As you walk across the gallery and walk into the dark area in the back, the video reel starts and the room comes alive, screaming at you.

Winnipeg’s Heidi Phillips is known for her dream-like artistic style and her latest exhibit, Revival, is no exception. The sound for her videos comes from the movie Little Dieter Needs To Fly.

She took the conversations and voices and made them work with the footage she has for her solo exhibit, Revival -– footage lifted from old films that Phillips recycled into her own layered, loosely structured narrative works.

The feeling you get when walking into the gallery is one of being completely encompassed. The hands reaching up on the back wall give the illusion that they are crying for salvation. The planes on the adjacent wall are that salvation, and as the helicopters repeatedly flutter onto the landing pad, you are filled with relief.

The only light in the room is from the projectors and you cannot help but feel isolated. These images become you and you’re waiting for your savior. It makes you think about who or what in your life has saved you. You can only imagine how you may have ended up had they not been there. The film stops and everything goes black; you leave the room shaky and revived.

Collin Zipp’s solo exhibit, Archive, also currently showing at Aceartinc, ventures into the ever-debatable topic of nature versus technology. Which is more important – advancing ourselves to a super species or preserving the Earth?

A stuffed Rouen duck is positioned squarely on a shelving unit. As big as a medium-sized dog, this duck was fed growth hormones to grow to this grotesque size and be stuffed and put on display.

While people may find it disgusting, Zipp is making the point that it’s exactly what humans do to chickens, pigs and cows. Pumping animals full of hormones to make them larger is the norm now and we, as consumers, should be questioning this.

The exhibit includes arrow-headed spears wrapped in cloth and cell phone towers made of wire. As well, there are jars of honey around the display and a large wooden beehive. The viewers’ eyes, however, are drawn to the television screens. One shows a number of dots, depicting the Canadian geese flying patterns, and the other bees milling about, making honey.

All of these things combined tell us regardless of how terrible we treat the Earth, nature will keep finding a way to evolve and survive.

Published in Volume 63, Number 25 of The Uniter (March 26, 2009)

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