At the center of Shaw’s first solo show in Calgary are three para-fictional short films: Quickeners (2014), Liminals (2017), and I Can See Forever (2018), the latter of which is making its Canadian installation premiere. This trilogy of thematically entangled works present marginalized societies of the future and their engagement in transcendental activities as potential tools towards evolution. Spiritual, subcultural, and scientific systems of belief and their accompanying ideologies crystalize around the abilities and limitations of the human form while Shaw’s amplified use of aural and visual effects aspires to incite similar phenomenological responses from the viewer.
In addition to the three films, Shaw’s series Towards Universal Pattern Recognition presents found archival photos of people in various states of religious, mystical, or technological rapture under custom-machined prismatic acrylic. The resulting kaleidoscopic repetition and distortion of the image explicitly illustrates that the subject is experiencing a phenomenon that is skewing their perception of reality. In applying an optical device most commonly associated with filmic representations of psychedelic experience to documentary recordings of altered states, the works ask one to consider a universality to all transcendental experience: spiritual, hedonistic, technological, and otherwise.
Quantification Trilogy is produced in cooperation with the Kunstverein Hamburg, Germany. An extensive publication will be released in conjunction with the show.
Jeremy Shaw (b. 1977, Vancouver, currently resides in Berlin) works in a variety of media to explore altered states and the cultural and scientific practices that aspire to map transcendental experience. Often combining and amplifying strategies of vérité filmmaking, conceptual art, music video, esoteric and scientific research, Shaw’s works create a post-documentary space in which disparate belief-systems and histories are thrown into an interpretive limbo.
Selected solo exhibitions include: Quantification Trilogy (2018), Kunstverein in Hamburg; Liminals (2018), Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal; Quickeners (2018), CAPRI, Düsseldorf; Towards Universal Pattern Recognition (2016), KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin; Medium-Based Time (2015), Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Variation FQ (2013), Schinkel Pavilion, Berlin; Best Minds (2011), MoMA PS1, New York; Something’s Happening Here! (2009), Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver; and DMT (2006), Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto.
Notable group exhibitions include: Alone Together (2018), Musée d’art contemporain de Montreal; Blind Faith (2018), Haus der Kunst, Munich; How To Live Together (2017), Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; Manifesta 11: What People Do for Money: Some Joint Ventures (2016), Kunsthalle Zurich; In the Belly of the Whale (2016), Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam; Neo-Tokyo (2015), National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Extinction Marathon: Vision of the Future (2014), Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London; and 12th Biennale de Lyon (2012) (with Palais de Tokyo).
In 2016, Shaw received the Sobey Art Award, and in 2017 he participated in the 57th Venice Biennale, Viva Arte Viva. He was recently on residency at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles in 2018, and has upcoming solo exhibitions at The Common Guild, Glasgow, and Centre Pompidou, Paris, in 2020. Works by Jeremy Shaw are held in numerous public collections worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Shaw is represented by KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin and Macaulay & Co. Fine Art, Vancouver.