Isaac Gelin (Canada) is an artist who works in a variety of media. By taking daily life as subject matter while commenting on the everyday aesthetic of middle class values, Gelin absorbs the tradition of remembrance art into daily practice. This personal follow-up and revival of a past tradition is important as an act of meditation.
His works sometimes radiate a cold and latent violence. At times, disconcerting beauty emerges. The inherent visual seductiveness, along with the conciseness of the exhibitions, further complicates the reception of their manifold layers of meaning. With Plato’s allegory of the cave in mind, he plays with the idea of the mortality of an artwork confronted with the power of a transitory appearance, which is, by being restricted in time, much more intense.
His works are characterized by the use of everyday objects in an atmosphere of middleclass mentality in which recognition plays an important role. By emphasizing aesthetics, he wants the viewer to become part of the art as a kind of added component. Art is entertainment: to be able to touch the work, as well as to interact with the work is important.
His works directly respond to the surrounding environment and uses everyday experiences from the artist as a starting point. Often these are framed instances that would go unnoticed in their original context. By creating situations and breaking the passivity of the spectator, he seduces the viewer into a world of ongoing equilibrium and the interval that articulates the stream of daily events. Moments are depicted that only exist to punctuate the human drama in order to clarify our existence and to find poetic meaning in everyday life.
His collected, altered and own works are being confronted as aesthetically resilient, thematically interrelated material for memory and projection. The possible seems true and the truth exists, but it has many faces, as Hanna Arendt cites from Franz Kafka. By applying a wide variety of contemporary strategies, he makes work that deals with the documentation of events and the question of how they can be presented. The work tries to express this with the help of physics and technology, but not by telling a story or creating a metaphor.
His works are made through strict rules, which can be perceived as liberating constraints. Romantic values such as ‘inspiration’, ‘genius’ and ‘authenticity’ are thereby neutralized and put into perspective. Isaac Gelin currently lives and works in Canada.
His artworks isolate the movements of humans and/or objects. By doing so, new sequences are created which reveal an inseparable relationship between motion and sound. With a conceptual approach, he often creates work using creative game tactics, but these are never permissive. Play is a serious matter: during the game, different rules apply than in everyday life and even everyday objects undergo transubstantiation.
His works appear as dreamlike images in which fiction and reality meet, well-known tropes merge, meanings shift, past and present fuse. Time and memory always play a key role. By contesting the division between the realm of memory and the realm of experience, he tries to approach a wide scale of subjects in a multi-layered way, likes to involve the viewer in a way that is sometimes physical and believes in the idea of function following form in a work.
COPYRIGHT ISAAC GELIN