Several Circles
Mark Soo
November 6, 2010 — January 29, 2010
Reception November 5, 8PM

Several Circles is a dual-channel 35mm film installation that explores the “revolutions” that link the 19th century riverboat steam engine with the 20th century internal combustion engine. Reflecting writer Mark Twain’s famed quote, “The past does not repeat itself, but sometimes it rhymes,” the project articulates a meandering relationship between shared forms of rotary-driven mechanical power that bookend a hundred year arc of American industry. This project forms a narrative that begins approximately with the emergence of steam-power, and continues speculatively with its transformation. Several Circles similarly addresses a shift from celluloid film based cinematic production, to one that is increasingly dominated by digital video; the triumph of the microchip over the mechanical production and presentation. The work is set to a soundtrack of Detroit techno, a musical form that emerged with the advent of drum machines in the 1980s (a period that roughly corresponds with the decline of the city’s automobile industry) and one that still features prominently in clubs and “party boats” of today.

Several Circles is a special commission by the Or Gallery made possible with the generous financial support of Arts Partners in Creative Development.

Mark Soo is a visual artist who lives and works in Vancouver. Since graduating from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Soo has exhibited both nationally and internationally with past exhibitions at venues including the Vancouver Art Gallery; Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver; Galeria Luisa Strina, Sao Paulo; Western Bridge, Seattle; Galerie Wilfried Lentz, Rotterdam; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco; Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Antwerp; and the Charles H. Scott Gallery at Emily Carr University, Vancouver. Upcoming exhibitions include presentations at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, and the Or Gallery, Vancouver. In 2009, Soo was the recipient of the Shadbolt Foundation VIVA Awards.

Mark Soo would like to thank Sean Arden, Ian Barbour, Eli Bornowsky, Marianne Bos, Chris Brabant, Ed Chan, Robin Coope, Peter Courtemanche, Mandy Ginson, Beau Kerner, Kara Lawrence, Andrew Lee, Khan Lee, James Liston, Paul Kuranko, Jonathan Middleton, Kim Nguyen, Josh Olson, Natalie Sorensen, Stan Douglas Studio, Rob Symmers, Michael Turner, Eliot Vivian, Jen Weih, Erik Whittaker, Western Front, and everyone else who generously contributed to this project.

Or Gallery gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia Arts Council, the City of Vancouver, our members, donors, and volunteers. Or Gallery is a member of the Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres (PAARC).

Mark Soo, Several Circles, 2010

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Or Gallery

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