Avenue Road Arts School


Evans Contemporary is pleased to present Fluorescence, a multi-channel video-installation by the Toronto based collaborative Soft Turns, which includes ARAS instructor Sarah Jane Gorlitz.

Inspired by the way microscopes appear to intermingle touch and sight, Fluorescence is a multi-channel video-installation that explores an expanded conception of surface. Here, microscopic images of plant cells from biology textbooks become iridescent under a moving light source (a laptop). The startling but natural effect of offset printing and the dynamics of reflected light, make the images appear suddenly tangible, ready to pop off the page.

The video channels in Fluorescence present many versions of the same image, as it has appeared across eight editions of Biology of Plants (1970-). Each image in the installation is slightly different, and for many, the change is so slight, that it is noticeable only in the way creases catch reflected light. What is left for the viewer’s scrutiny are aspects usually perceivable by a more sensitive apparatus than the eye.

This installation draws attention to subtlety, and the barely visible – like the amount of light emitted from a monitor’s screen (coincidentally, enough for photosynthesis to occur). The natural world, along with all the complicated systems that humans design to help them understand it, is a focus of Soft Turns’ practice. Their work often appears complex, but emerges from approaches similar to those of a naturalist – the slow attentive study of easily observable yet often overlooked phenomena.

Soft Turns is the collaborative effort of Wojciech Olejnik and Sarah Jane Gorlitz. They consider the encounter with something ‘other’, as an ever-changing space between the accessible and inaccessible; interaction with these spaces – these brief moments that weave the background of everyday existence – drives their practice. They employ found objects, common materials, D.I.Y. methods, and experimentation to create videos, stop-motions and mixed media installations. Featured in the Fall 2011 issue of Canadian Art, and in Syphon 3.1 (2015), they have received support from the Swedish Edstrand Foundation, the Toronto, Ontario, and Canada Arts Councils; the latter awarding them the 2008 Joseph Stauffer Prize for Emerging Artists and a 2013 Paris Residency. Recent exhibitions include: Southern Exposure (San Francisco), Foundation 3.14 (Bergen), Greusslich Contemporary (Berlin), 18th Videobrasil (São Paulo), Skånes konstförening (Malmö), Oakville Galleries (Oakville), Trinity Square Video (Toronto) and Modern Fuel (Kingston). They are the 2016-18 artists in residence at the School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Canada.

Soft Turns would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, and the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph.


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