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Marie Jose Burki


Marie José Burki
30 March – 26 April 1995

Marie José Burki's video works seek the possibility of locating a space for reflection and contemplation within our fast-paced electronic culture. She dissociates video from its characteristic bias towards narration in favour of a more abstract meditation on the connection between images and perception of time. In each of her videotapes, she sets out "to discover the amount of time that each image needs." Movement and duration are employed through cinematic techniques: panning, splicing, slow-motion, montage, dissolves, close-ups and long shots, along with an emphasis on the characteristics of traditional art-making, such as colour, form and content.

Included in this exhibition are five video works produced by the artist over the last five years. Language and its meaning, as well as the element of time, feature prominently in all of these works. Paysage, 1989, a work projected simultaneously onto two gallery walls, explores the question of real versus fictive time and permits us to see the same image from two different vantage points. In Volume, 1989, we "hear" the image and "see" the sound as the pages of a dictionary are slowly, repeatedly turned and the sound track of these turning pages is heightened. Not only is there interplay among sound, image and form (volume as in sound, as in book, as in its three-dimensional sculptural presentation on the wall), but there also exists a linguistic game where image and text (form and content) converge and share the screen.

Animals as subject matter are central to Burki's most recent work. Hibou, 1993, from her series entitled, Blindsight, and Les Chiens, 1994, explore the relationship between spectator and image. Intérieur, 1994, from her current series of works, treats the subject of domestic birds in captivity.

This is the first Canadian exhibition of work by this young Swiss video artist who presently lives in Brussels, Belgium.

This exhibition and its catalogue have been made possible with the assistance of Pro Helvetia, Arts Council of Switzerland; Fonds Rapin de l'État de Genève; the Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; the Department of Instructional Resources, York University; and the Consulate General of Switzerland, Toronto.
Art Gallery of York University | Accolade East Building, 4700 Keele Street | Toronto ON M3J 1P3 | agyu [at]