September 23, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 14  

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Rae Davis' artwork blends silence and chaos

By Katy James
Gazette Staff

Exhibit: Rae Davis: Works 1959-2003
Location: Museum London
Dates: Now through Jan. 11

Museum London's newest exhibit, featuring a cross-section of video and computer installations and other multi-media inspired pieces, was created by Rae Davis between 1959 and 2003.

Most of Davis' work is accompanied by some sort of video or computer projection. "Cataract" (1992) includes one monitor which displays the torrential waters of Niagara Falls, while a second monitor projects a more peaceful sky-scape image. In between the two monitors is a sheet billowed out by a fan placed behind it, with random images projected upon it.

For Davis, the experience of "Cataract" is comparable to the shift between chaos and order; the running water versus the still sky with an out-of-focus image and a confused yet intriguing dialogue.

Another piece works with a similar theme of chaos: the video installation entitled "Chromatic Fall" (1969/2000) involving a huge screen with a continuously moving ribbon of slowly fading colours overwhelmed by a voiceover of random dialogue. The voiceover is extremely loud and rather cumbersome and distracts viewers from the entire exhibit. After the colours on the screen have faded completely white and the sounds have melded into a static roar, a sharp silence follows and the screen stops completely.

In sum, the video images of the exhibit were fairly juvenile but the writing in all the voiceovers was incredibly provoking and could exist alone without any associative images at all. It seems that a theme for Davis between 1959 and 2003 has been a shifting vision of society and its noise. Davis does, however, remind her viewers it is possible to find peace and construct silence in the midst of the chaos.




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