As many have pondered and discovered, when it comes to growing up, the first source for information are the senses with which an individual observes and situates oneself into the surrounding world which does its best to overwhelm our thoughts and bodies with its remarkable diversity of beings and phenomena. Whether the said information is gathered by looking, tasting or touching, or merely by reading, the objective for the act is nearly always the desire to make sense to what it is that the individual is experiencing, satisfying the curiosity that gives the impulse for the aforementioned actions. For teachers, nurturing the innate drive for trying out how things work in the reality that is around us is one of the biggest challenge when it comes to children and teenagers, as the older an individual becomes, the more subdued the curiosity grows to be since the flow of the information narrows down into more accurate, more abstract and more defined by the demand of knowing what is considered important instead of having space for vague understanding, tolerance for blind areas and humility to admit that nothing is certain and invariable when it comes to the bizarre structures we call society, science and culture. For centuries, side by side with the thriving inventions of science, artists have strived to understand and communicate with the said uncertainty of certainty and its many hidden layers, as well as providing new ways to unveil them for the seeing eye..and the gentleman who has become the subject of this post serves a menu that tickles the taste for that.
With his works, William Dennisuk approaches many questions of being and perceiving by creating a space which gives an impulse that ignites the spark of curiosity from the very first step taken over the gallery's threshold. As the artist himself explains, his goal is not to explain comprehensively what his thoughts are regarding the duality of the tactile and the visual experience, but to offer a viewpoint from which the viewers can construct their own connections to the works on display. The large forms that were brought into the gallery are based on objects that the artist had studied with the idea of vessels: objects within objects, layers that are hidden beneath multiple others and sometimes even on plain sight yet unseen in their nakedness and dynamic nature. It is notable that the idea of the vessel can be connected to the flesh of a body, as the terms and the forms soon enough interlace with each other and acquire new meanings, new reflections into which one can get immersed should they choose to. The size and the material of the forms encourages the bodily experience, as one gets drawn closer to see, to feel what it is that is shown and which seems to dodge the sharpness of the gaze, as well as the categorizing mind. Funnily enough, the artist was right in his guess that everyone will be poking and patting his works, as that was exactly what happened with our small band of curious minds, amidst the constant circling around and peeking both through and inside the works.
As for yours truly, the shifts between the blur and sharp visual focus, the momentary deception of the eye as well as the beautiful play of natural light and the living shadows it created were the essence of the experience that gave the understanding on what the artist refers to when he borrows the words of Niels Bohr on how in order to truly speak about atoms, the only choice would be to use the language as in poetry. Delightfully, Dennisuk has embraced the lyrical approach on both the tactile and abstract language, as not only do the works actively persuade the mind to discuss with them, but the titles of the pieces weave the final knots to the web that is left for the curious to unravel.
William Dennisuk - Hidden Variables
From 12th to 28th of September