Part of Off-Centre: Queer Contemporary Art in the Prairies
Join us for an artist talk and a performance excerpt from Daniel Barrow’s work-in-progress, The Reading Wand, an experimental, animated narrative which illustrates the story of a teen who is obsessed with a nun whom he regards as a “flawless beauty.” This live performance uses and repurposes the Amiga Deluxe Paint program to create a kind of digital puppet show. Its central character, Dominic, is a reading wand, an imaginary piece of technology with an animatronic head. When the reading wand is moved across a line of text, it will speak it with perfect enunciation, translating foreign languages, correcting grammar, and acting as a surrogate companion for its user.
All of Barrow's work with antiquated AV equipment is made with the aim of assembling these technological and cinematic intersections in a poetic way. He unites popular imagery from the cultural and digital past with topical and emotional content; in doing so, he seeks to invent a new moving-picture experience, while simultaneously facilitating a return to a former, primitive or nostalgic experience of media stimulus. Barrow leads a live audience into a dark narrative, and cinematically moderates the awareness of pain in a way that makes it seem connected, in a profound way, to the experience of our individual personal lives.
Winnipeg-born, Montreal-based artist Daniel Barrow works in video, film, print-making and drawing, but is best known for his use of antiquated technologies, his “registered projection” installations, and his narrative overhead projection performances. Barrow describes his performance method as a process of, “creating and adapting comic narratives to manual forms of animation by projecting, layering and manipulating drawings on overhead projectors”.
Barrow has exhibited and performed widely in Canada and abroad. Barrow is the winner of the 2010 Sobey Art Award and the recipient of the 2013 Glenfiddich Artist in Residence Prize.
Daniel Barrow, Le Voleur des Miroirs/The Thief of Mirrors, 2014, overhead animation/performance. Image: courtesy of the artist.