Out of Sight
January 16 to March 19, 2016
Out of Sight features a selection of photographs recently acquired by the Vancouver Art Gallery by Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) and Harold Edgerton (1903-1990). Both artists are celebrated for their revolutionary works that expand our understanding of time and motion and extend the capacity of human perception by making time stand still. While time can be measured and evaluated, it also has a profound subjective dimension; how the passage of time is understood and felt is the product of individual experience, making its perception fluid, malleable and subject to interpretation. Both of these artists continually mined this rich terrain – how time can be represented and perceived – by manipulating and distorting the ways in which time functions to challenge our accepted views and preconceived notions.
Harold E. Edgerton
The photographs of Muybridge and Edgerton depict slices of time – frozen moments – to approach the problem of representing that which cannot be seen. In their scientific experiments, they exploited the promise of the photographic medium to act as a defi nitive record of an action or event, essentially stopping time to depict the mechanical truth of movement. Brought together, these bodies of work explore ideas about perception and representation, challenging viewers to reconsider what we see in our everyday encounters.
Eadweard Muybridge is renowned for his sequential images of human and animal locomotion. From 1883 to 1886, while employed by the University of Pennsylvania, Muybridge produced more than 100,000 images that documented the common movements of people and animals and is known for his earliest stop-motion images of a running horse that proved that all four hooves of a horse left the ground when it was galloping. Using multiple cameras and elaborate triggering devices, Muybridge was able to virtually stop time and provide surprising and provocative insights into the mechanics and wonder of human and animal movement.
Harold Edgerton was a trained scientist who is credited with inventing ultra-high-speed, stroboscopic and stop-action photography to take picture of events that occurred too quickly, or too slowly, for the human eye to see. With his striking imagery, Edgerton transforms our understanding of temporal space and experience, redefining how we perceive movement by extending the capacity of the human eye.
Organized and circulated by the Vancouver Art Gallery with the generous support of the Killy Foundation.
Curated by Stephanie Rebick, Vancouver Art Gallery
Generously sponsored by MCM Real Estate Ltd