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Robert Wilson: Gould Variations

Robert Wilson: Gould Variations

September 11–October 6, 2012

Produced by Dissident Industries Inc

University of Toronto Art Centre

This exhibition is the world premiere of Robert Wilson’s South American Horned Frog Video Portrait series, specially designed for the University of Toronto Art Centre’s galleries. The South American Horned Frog Video Portraits ensemble fuses as one site specific work via a sound score combining river field recordings and frog vocalizations sound-mixed with Canadian pianist Glenn Gould performing his own arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Wilson’s eleven large scale, high definition videos will create an unforgettable, intense and immersive experience, while celebrating the 80th anniversary of Glenn Gould’s birth.

Wilson was drawn to create his Video Portraits after becoming aware of recently developed high definition technology which permits an unprecedented level of clarity and detail. As with all Wilson’s Video Portraits, the South American Horned Frogs, while occasionally humorous, are highly formal works, carefully orchestrated with close attention to detail: setting, lighting, colour, movement, editing. The sound score is no mere accompaniment, but an integral, and carefully constructed component of the works. What is initially experienced as a random encounter of noises, emerges, on sustained listening, as a double counterpoint: first the counterpoint inherent to the music of Bach, which in turn becomes part of a larger counterpoint pitting the controlled and intricate piano against the sounds of nature (running water, grunts and ribbets). Looped without beginning or end, the portraits, minimal in their movement, become still, but never static meditations on intense awareness.

This exhibition is presented in conjunction with Dreamers Renegades Visionaries: The Glenn Gould Variations, a two-day festival of new work, new interpretations and new collaborations, from Argentina, Britain, Canada, China, Croatia, France, Germany, Japan and USA, inspired by Glenn Gould who would be 80 in 2012. The festival which runs September 22 to 23 is located at Convocation Hall at the University of Toronto.

Opening Reception

Tuesday September 11, 2012
University of Toronto Art Centre

Our Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge the exhibition presenting sponsor BMO Financial Group and the project support from the Consulate of the United States in Toronto, Peter Allen, Manulife Financial, and the Centre for the United States at the University of Toronto, with additional event sponsorship from à la Carte Kitchen.

Title Image: Robert Wilson, Mr. Speedball, , South American Horned Frog Video Portrait series (video still), 2012.

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