Encountering Catherine Thornley Carmichael’s work is like slipping into a chair just after she’s vacated it, leaving behind the warm echo of her body. The works in this exhibition, going back into the ’80s, are as warm-blooded as you can get.
The amount of video around these days is reaching the point of saturation. A friend, a video artist and educator in the UK, tells me that it’s become the fallback position in the art schools-if you can’t think of anything else to do, you make a video. Lately I’ve had a growing desire to see something I’d call “extreme video,” which means I’d have to strap on the gear and scale a 30-metre wall to see the monitor, or bungee jump into the abyss to find a screen waiting where my nose comes to a stop, before I snap back into the air. Then in November I attended a lecture by Carolee Schneemann, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, as part of the “Global Village: the 60s” exhibition currently on view, where she talked about her body of work and screened her most recent video project. The new work pushed me over the edge in to a free fall, no gear, no parachute and no hope for a soft landing.
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