Owen Kydd

Owen Kydd is a Calgary-born, Vancouver-based visual artist whose work I had the immense pleasure of viewing at the Vancouver Art Gallery this week. I visited with Mag and Marnie, and we were completely captivated by this small gallery room on the 3rd floor, where three of his works were exhibited.

Owen Kydd's work is comprised of video "stills" exhibited on three Mac flatscreen monitors placed side by side on the wall, a postmodern triptych, if you will. The two outer monitors are hung horizontally, and the middle one is placed vertically. What appear to be photographs fade in and out on these screens every few moments, but not in unison across the screens. These appear to be images, for the subjects in the video are very still. Sometimes, one of the three monitors depicts a person, but they are always motionless, whether seated on standing, and apart from the occasional straying of their eyes (inevitable for humans, after all), these portraits could be photographs. Indeed, if it weren't for the occasional reflection of a moving car on a window in the shot, most wouldn't wait and look closely enough to discern that they are watching video, not a photographic slideshow.

I hesitate to tell you any more than this. His worth is a must-see. The shows on at the Vancouver Art Gallery right now really make it worth a visit. However, Owen Kydd's work really stood out to me. I don't recall having seen any before, which is surprising in retrospect, but I feel that I've taken something from these videos with me. Here are a few stills from the works I saw, from Monte Clark.

update: The Canadian Art email newsletter just included a rave review of his work, too.
check it out here.

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