Above Image: Harold Edgerton, Bullet Through Card, 1964, dye transfer print, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Gift of Angela and David Feldman, the Menkes Family, Marc and Alex Muzzo, Tory Ross, the Rose Baum-Sommerman Family, Shabin and Nadir Mohamed
The Vancouver Art Gallery’s fourth floor exhibition Out of Sight: New Acquisitions is composed of a variety of works that have been donated or collected over the past three years – many of which will be displayed to the public for the first time. The exhibition is thematically organized; Space, with contemporary installation/sculpture, Time, introduced through photography, and Representation which is largely composed of paintings. The inspiration for this curatorial categorizing is thanks to the photography of Harold Edgerton. Harold ‘doc’ Edgerton’s photographs crystallize fast motion into stillness, our sense of time becomes warped and we are able to interrogate the visual world around us in a new way.
Edgerton, nicknamed “Papa Flash” by marine biologist Jack Cousteau (whom he worked with developing underwater camera equipment) was a pioneer in photography due to his invention of the electronic strobe light. He worked on developing, improving, and distributing Stroboscopes for scientific and later journalistic photography. His photographs are visually stunning in their precision and mesmerizing colours. See the accompanying pictures of a bullet piercing a playing card, or the crown of a milk drop – some of the first of their kind.
The presentation of time, space, and representation on the fourth floor is a refreshing analysis of our own benefits and limitations of perception – and, of course, the role art plays in defining perception itself. If only they had been playing some Pink Floyd!
Image Above: Harold Edgerton, Milkdrop Coronet, 1957, dye transfer print, Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Gift of Angela and David Feldman, the Menkes Family, Marc and Alex Muzzo, Tory Ross, the Rose Baum-Sommerman Family, Shabin and Nadir Mohamed