Rodney Graham: Torqued Chandelier Release

Exhibition

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Vancouver-based artist Rodney Graham is known for many roles—musician, performer, philosopher, scientist, and writer—but he is perhaps most recognized for his cerebral and captivating moving-image installations.

Torqued Chandelier Release (2005) is the third in a trio of films that the artist describes as “illustrated ‘thought experiments’ documenting transitory lighting events within the context of a single roll of film.” Inspired by Sir Isaac Newton’s famous water-bucket experiment exploring rotational motion, Torqued Chandelier Release vividly demonstrates Newton’s investigations as the chandelier, wound-up off-camera and then released, spins in one direction then reverses course until it finally comes to rest. The dizzying image of the spinning fixture takes on a sculptural, three-dimensional appearance, echoing Newton’s original experiment and illuminating the values of the Enlightenment itself.

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