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Alex McLeod: PHANTASMAGORIA

Alex McLeod's imaginative digital landscapes come alive at UrbanScreen.

The artistic world of Alex McLeod is filled with stunningly imaginative digital landscapes, alive with mind-bending objects and characters. For Surrey Art Gallery’s offsite venue UrbanScreen, McLeod’s site-specific digital animation PHANTASMAGORIA uses the architecture of Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre as a playground for experimentation. Dazzling shapes and patterns float, bounce, spin, and spill across the windows of the building in a display of optical splendour, constantly moving between two and three-dimensional space. In a game of suggestion, PHANTASMAGORIA dissolves the boundary between reality and fantasy, reminding us of the physical rules that govern our world before breaking them in a brilliant display of colour.

A master of digital animation, McLeod’s subjects include impossible geometric constructions, vivid textures, and discontented (yet charming) creatures, drawn out of a vibrant virtual environment. In his work, these elements are composed in an ever-evolving series of animated tableaus that playfully experiment with physics, light, and form. All the while, McLeod invites viewers to observe the struggles of the beings who inhabit these fantastic realms, reflecting upon our own projected desires in the process.

This exhibition is a part of the 2018 Capture Photography Festival (April 1-30, 2018).

Curator: Rhys Edwards
Origin of Exhibition: Surrey Art Gallery

Publication

PHANTASMAGORIA is accompanied by an essay by Sky Goodden, as part of our Surrey Art Gallery Presents series. Goodden is the founder and contributing editor of Momus, a global journal of art criticism, and has contributed to art publications around the world.

About the Artist

Alex McLeod is a new media visual artist from Toronto. McLeod’s images recall the wide-open vistas of romantic landscape painting, and strange otherworldly dystopias. He uses film as a point of comparison, such as the representation of space, captured in films such as Kagemusha and Hidden Fortress, then contrasted with the hypothesized future depicted in films like Blade Runner. In light of concerns surrounding rising populations, urban over-development, and climate change, McLeod’s simulations could be considered a cautionary tale about ecological responsibility. He is represented by Division Gallery in Toronto and Montreal.

Artist Talk & Demonstration Event

Thursday, April 27 | 7pm

Artist Talk & Demonstration with Alex McLeod

Alex McLeod will guide you through his creation process with live commentary over a recorded work session at the Surrey Art Gallery. Join McLeod  after this event to see PHANTASMAGORIA onsite at UrbanScreen, along with a screening of youth digital art projects from Chuck Bailey’s skate park and gym programs, the City’s Community Art Program, and the Gallery’s Art Together participants.

 

Image Credit: Preview of Alex McLeod's PHANTASMAGORIA (2018) at UrbanScreen. Photo by Brian Giebelhaus.