Stutter and Twitch at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Engaging the current international dialogue between visual art and film, this exhibition opens on Thursday, May 8, from 5:00pm to 7:00 pm and continues through June 29, 2008.

Stutter and Twitch brings together a group of seven artists based in Canada, the US and Europe, whose work explores the qualities of stillness and suspense in filmic motion. Their works break down linear time by “stopping” action. Like stutters, the works in this exhibition perpetuate disruption across time. They make “ongoing” pauses, introducing breaks that also sustain activity.

Curated by Chen Tamir, an emerging curator based in New York and Toronto, the exhibition presents recent works by Yael Bartana (b. 1970, based in Israel and the Netherlands), Johanna Billing (b. 1973, based in Stockholm), David Claerbout (b. 1969, based in Antwerp), Nancy Davenport (b. 1965, based in New York), Adad Hannah (b. 1971, based in Montreal), Kristan Horton (b. 1971, based in Toronto), and Jennifer and Kevin McCoy (b. 1968 and 1967, based in New York).

Dwelling on the unattainable desire for stasis and halting change, the artists’ works seek to avoid the trauma and stress that change may generate. With frozen or barely animated images, many of the works hang in a limbo between stillness and motion. They push boundaries of form between video, film, and photography, examining stasis and paused situations from the point of view of social and metaphoric meanings. Their interrupted cinema frustrates the viewer’s expectation of linear narrative.

Rather than approaching frustration as negative, Stutter and Twitch presents the condition of stasis as an arena of possibility. The works in the exhibition focus on the pause by arresting development and halting a system in flux. They expose the foundations on which the structure relies. They challenge the expectation of time, linearity and continuity when their elements are jarred to a stop.