VISUALS: Sabrina Ratté
SOUNDTRACK: Roger Tellier Craig
Atmospheres was an exhibition about artists using the visual strategies of architecture and interior design. Of particular interest were the technologies that make it possible for viewers to figuratively step through the surface of an artwork, and explore multi-dimensional virtual environments from various angles and vantage points. The centerpiece of Atmospheres was Common Areas: Perspectives (2016), a new commission by Montreal- and Paris-based media artist, Sabrina Ratté.
Perspectives utilizes imagery made with video synthesizers. Here, multiple versions of the same space are elongated across a horizontal frame. Pulsing lights and electrons give life to rigid architecture. Black lines scan the images, calling attention to the screen's surface and the depth of the 3D spaces depicted below it.
A soundtrack by Sabrina's long-time collaborator, musician Roger Tellier Craig, was composed independently from the video. The length of each is different, thus creating unpredictable associations between sounds and images every time the piece loops.
Atmospheres featured two monitors playing selections from Sabrina's Immeuble-Villas, an ongoing series of abstract interior spaces that reference and reimagine existing architecture. Each room is presented as a vibrating tableau where electronic walls and structure surfaces are subtly animated. The series is inspired by Le Corbusier’s standardization of apartment building design, and the tensions between a utopian and dystopian conception of architecture. Also on view was a maquette display representing a transition of Sabrina's design practice from virtual to physical space. Her architectural model is a room that will never be realized, except for in the imaginations of both artist and spectator.
Images courtesy of Imprint Projects and Sabrina Ratté.