Opening reception with artist in attendance begins at 5 pm on September 5th and runs until 8pm. Refreshments will be served and admission is always free. The exhibition will run until September 28th.
Olexander Wlasenko once again brings the big screen to paper in his solo exhibition Reel Life. Running concurrent with the Toronto International Film Festival, Olexander Wlasenko uses his hands and charcoal to create large scale drawings based off images from Italian Neo-realist and French New Wave films. He prefers this medium and form due to its “immediacy” and that it “evokes neo-classicism.” Olexander Wlasenko is also the Curator at Station Gallery in Whitby, Ontario.
“My studio production focuses on a personal and investigative discourse surrounding drawing’s relationship to lens based media (i.e. photography, cinema) in modern culture. The images I choose to work with trigger involuntary and perhaps atavistic memories. In relation to this, I perceive the photos and films I draw from as touchstones for retrieving a dislocated cultural memory. And yet they are not my memories, and to some degree, nor are they vehicles of my ‘culture’.
They are one step, one generation, removed. In this regard, they act as metaphors for displacement.
I use only one tool–my index finger. I manually rub the pigment into the surface of the paper. This technique gives the most dexterity and somehow the warmth of the hand transfers to each drawing.
Inspiration is concealed in the pages of history or reels of film. The images I draw from surface from the vast well-spring of historical sources. These can be vintage visual documents such as books, archives or old movies. This fascination with cinema stems from my upbringing.
If my earlier drawings were inspired by image banks close to home, I’ve recently turned to sources outside the personal realm. Lately, I’ve been culling from “art house” cinema from Italy, France and Sweden. I am interested in the “moment” when the dramatic structure of the movie plot changes in an instant. As with movie stills, my drawings are free-standing islands with a myriad of possible interpretations and interconnections.
I’ve recently become interested in extending or elongating discrete moments in film. I’m fascinated by the elasticity of film. Sequences that unfurl through cinematic time and space become transformative and tangible as charcoal drawings.” – Olexander Wlasenko