Installation: greenscreen area with 5 boxes, green cotton material, video lights, 48 in monitor, camera, novel by Samuel R. Delayney
Matthew-Robin Nye’s Refugia 2016
Matthew-Robin Nye’s Refugia, an event I attended in Montreal in 2016, probes questions of regeneration and recomposition, and explores how a queer utopia could temporarily find a shape. Invited to the artist’s apartment, Nye gave a warm informal welcome, and then shared pictures and stories of his dear friend David who had suddenly and unexpectedly passed away some months prior. Visitors went two floors up to Nye’s neighbour’s apartment, and then one floor down to an empty apartment. Each apartment was seeded with elements of the others; video projections of rooms from one apartment onto the walls of another, objects and furniture transported/ transferred from their original spacings. Citations from Samuel R. Delaney’s science-fiction novel Dhalgren (1974) were pinned discretely in the rooms. The image I am visiting from Refugia features one of these apartment interventions, with the projection of one room onto another.
Using greenscreen digital technology, the installation recreates the space and furniture of the living room featured in Nye’s work. My visit expands the plane of the image into three dimensional depth. The performers in the gallery appear to be inhabiting the room(s) depicted in Nye’s image. The performers lightly touch the surfaces of the room. The visitor is then invited into the green space to move themselves inside/in between the concrete and abstract space of the image.