Andrea Szilasi : Stop motion
McBride Contemporain is delighted to announce Stop motion, the first solo exhibition at the gallery by Andrea Szilasi. Well known for her experimental approach to photography that sometimes involves collage and cut-outs, in Stop motion Szilasi presents a suite of new photographic works, and for the first time in her career, a short length video piece that debuts an upcoming larger project.
This body of work comes out of a generative, process-based period of time working in a new and improved studio environment, which provoked a period of adjustment and reinvention, a time of artistic and personal change. Experiment and process were called for and the artist responded with a sustained burst. In order to facilitate a breakthrough, Szilasi began to set parameters on her activity, such as specified amounts of time in which to act intuitively and with maximum energy, and using the storage space limit on her camera to predetermine how much to make. She also employed the process of destruction to help create, in setting the stage for a body of work that would be radically new in her practice. Older, printed photographic works were designated “sacrificial” and destroyed in the studio process, and used to generate fresh imagery. This conceptually brought the principle of collage into the new work as well, a key element in Szilasi’s thinking. Once a working rhythm was established, the act and the idea of the sequence began to emerge as crucial, and form a point around which all this new work turns.
The simple but resonant imagery that was then generated en masse cross-pollinated the still photography and the video alike - the video is a stop motion piece, and is created from the raw group of still pictures Szilasi shot; and the gridded, sequenced framed photographs, which include twenty-eight photos per image, were then sourced from the video. Flickering movements and motions, the slow touch and interaction between hands, both real and artificial, are catalogued as metaphors that can be understood from different perspectives and yield fresh interpretations. The numerals 0 through 10 have a ghostly presence in these works, referring to the opening countdown that begins classic golden age cinema, but also functioning as uncoded glyphs, open signifiers. Szilasi has engaged a regard on motion and stasis in themselves to create an ambiance that engages the viewer with a hypnotic grasp on our attention.
Andrea Szilasi lives and works in Montreal. She is a photo-based artist whose work examines the nature and practice of photography itself, and the representation of the human body. Influenced by a range of Modern and Postmodern examples, she moved quickly and comprehensively into a personal approach to camera-based artmaking, often using herself as a model. Szilasi has participated in many solo and group exhibitions since the 1990s in museums, artist-run centres, and private galleries across Canada, the United States, Mexico and Europe. Her work can be found in major collections, including the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the National Gallery of Canada, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. Szilasi’s work has been featured in several publications including Femmes artistes du XXe siècle au Québec, published by the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, and the Musée virtuel de la photographie québécoise published by Vox Populi. She holds an MFA in Photography from Concordia University, a BFA in Studio Arts (Painting and Drawing) from Concordia University (1991), and a BA in Film Studies and French Language and Literature from the University of Toronto (1988).