Alex McLeod HONEYMOON
Works in the exhibition
Division Gallery is pleased to present HONEYMOON, Alex McLeod’s inaugural solo exhibition with the gallery. Running from August 27 to October 10, the exhibition brings together a new series of digitally rendered prints, video, and sculpture focusing on themes of interconnectivity and infinity.
Alex McLeod is a builder of imagined virtual worlds: dense landscapes and scenes as rich in texture as they are in information. Masterfully employing animation programs such as Cinema 4D, the artist models spaces that forego finitude in favor of inexhaustible sprawl and voracious addition.
If McLeod’s earlier work paid tribute to the candy-like aesthetic of Nintendo, with particular winks at Super Mario Worlds, then this latest series is a nod to the visual accomplishments of Playstation and X-box. Alluding to interconnectivity and the ceaseless potentiality for world-making in these latter console games, McLeod probes infinity in both its micro and macro forms. Focusing his attention on archetypes of this concept—a sublime mountainscape, dense networks of constellations, a boundless library, an endless dark sea—the artist underscores the impossibility of visualizing infinity and our reliance on its literary and filmic tropes.
The computer generated images and scenes in Honeymoon stand at impossible thresholds, inhabiting a spasmodic position between becoming and dissolving, emerging and receding, generation and sterilization. Dead Boat, for instance, is an image of a ship’s mast peaking through a seemingly endless pool of black sea, calling to mind Herman Melville’s iconic final chapter in Moby Dick. Caught between the act of sinking and surfacing, Dead Boat is a perpetually looping ouroboros—hinting at death while underscoring the potential for resurgence.
Looping is typical of McLeod’s practice: video is always screened in this fashion, enhancing the limitless quality of his 3D rendered landscapes. Blood Mountain, a new video work, revisits the opening sequence of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, where an aerial wide-angle shot sweeps over a menacing and sublime mountainscape. McLeod conjures up a similar image in his looped video piece, positioning his virtual lens at the same spectral position but this time coating his mountain peaks in a thick red liquid. Blood Mountain folds the harrowing final scene of this iconic film onto the open-endedness of its credit scene; potential and resolution collide in an exhaustible loop.
Alex McLeod lives and works in Toronto. An OCAD graduate, McLeod studied drawing then switched to computer-generated digital imagery. His works have been presented widely in Canada, especially in Montreal, Toronto, and Regina, but also in the United States, like New York, Hamilton, Philadelphia, Chicago, and in France, Spain, Sweden, New-Zealand and Brazil. In 2009, he received a visual art grant from the Council of Art of Toronto. Alex McLeod’s works are featured in many private and public collections, notably TD Bank, the Royal Bank of Canada, Museum of Contemporary art of Canada, Bank of Montreal, and MMPI Canada.