dominique t. skoltz: traversées
This post is a complement to my article “dominique t. skoltz: traversées” published in the journal ETC MEDIA #108. Érudit: http://id.erudit.org/iderudit/83119ac © dominqiue t. skoltz. Image used courtesy of the artist.
Do You Know How Long It Takes
For Any One Voice To Reach Another? *
The latest exhibit from Dominique T. Skoltz, held initially at Arsenal Toronto and then Arsenal Montreal from November 6, 2015 to May 7, 2016, effectively channelled the peripheral works originating from the film y2o, a “huis clos”. In the exhibit, visitors’ attention was captured as they were led to decipher a series of fragments from lovers’ discourse echoing Roland Barthes (maybe), while colliding in real time.
The film—wrought into a corpus of sculptures, performative objects, silver prints and film installation—plunged visitors into a private underwater world divided into nine movements: 01_link, 02_nœuds, 03_nerfs, 04_bulles de silence, 05_ce mortel ennui, 06_SMS, 07_unlink, 08_lâcher prise, and 09_empty. The extended palette of micro-inductions of the main theme inexorably induced an epidermal “Larsen effect” building up to a point of no return.
To quote Skoltz, “In this space, an analog dialogue is provoked between two people so that the voice can resonate as a powerful counterpoint to our ‘instant’ communications. This is a space absent of abbreviations, emoticons or other evocative shortcuts. Ultimately, it offers an ‘amplification’ of the Other.” An example was the sculpture Face to Face, which engaged visitors in a performative vis-à-vis that extended the artist’s proposition through words. The installation, analog in nature, had the quality of directly amplifying the voice delivered to the Other. Yet the success of visitors’ communicative efforts is hardly guaranteed, as demonstrated by the works Collision 01 and Collision 02, in which 20 tons of pressure have come down on each loudspeaker, giving the words their full weight.
The impact of digital technology on Skoltz’ aesthetic and artistic experience seems to be an evolution of her earlier practice toward choreographing an assembly of elements to navigate, while engaging the notion of body—including that of the visitor—directly through each work. Or to put it otherwise, we witness “the movement of time-based art towards spatial art, the movement of spatial art forms towards the performative forms of time-based art.” **
* The line, by American poet Carolyn Forché, was adopted by Betty Goodwin for her work How Long Does It Takes For Any One Voice To Reach Another?, 1985.
** Peter Weibel, Ars Electronica in the book Sacha Waltz, installations objects, performances, ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, 2014.