Legroom for Daydreaming is Levi Glass’ new exhibition at the Alternator Centre For Contemporary Art, Kelowna, B.C., Canada. In 2019 I met Levi in Berlin at the opening night of his and Frédéric Duval’s event “This can’t be happening!”. Today he will share with us some details about his project Legroom for Daydreaming.
I am curious about the creative process that led you to Legroom for Daydreaming. After your stay in Berlin, you went back to Canada and unfortunately, I lost trace of you. What happened in your life? Which elements and experiences of your wandering in Europe can we find in Legroom for Daydreaming?
At the core of Legroom for Daydreaming are playful and failed attempts to mix images and objects to blur the line that often divides the two. This interest precedes my wanderings in Europe, although it was accentuating in the project “Andenken” with Frédéric Duval where we spent many hours in muggy and snowy Berlin streets peering into tourist shop windows with our lenses pointed to the souvenirs that reflected, often cheaply, the history of the city. Cheap, alluring materials and domestic objects that were a window to another place or time became a greater interest of mine after this project and have certainly reappeared in this exhibition in form of snow globes or standard 4” x 6” one-hour prints.
During the same time, I was also researching and exploring exhibitions on the early scientific devices of the Renaissance. Here, I became particularly interested in how domestic furniture design merged with scientific demonstrations, resulting in playful and ornate sculptures, of sorts, that demonstrated phenomenon. I adapted this practice upon returning to my home studio in Canada and focused more closely on the integration of images and building of pseudo-technological devices within a more contemporary domestic framework.
Objects do not only have a practical usage. For example, in yours and Frédéric Duval’s video “Andenken” Berlin’s souvenirs commercialize and stereotype a town. What’s the objects’ purpose in Legroom for Daydreaming?
The purpose is curiosity if they have a specific purpose at all. The sculptures in Legroom for Daydreaming hardly function as the domestic designs they resemble but instead offer new perspectives of common objects and environments. For example, in Prie Natur, an ottoman-style praying table allows viewers to kneel, sanitize their hands, and pray/view a forest of images depicting cedar trees—the same material the table is made out of. In this luminous surface, the images are cut to mimic a diamond-shaped inlay where real wood would normally exist, converging the flat image of wood with the sculpted wood that supports it. It hardly functions as an ottoman nor a good place to pray to God—perhaps to nature though—but overall, this work like the others pose a scenario where one can interrogate the assemblage of materials and perhaps see something dazzling in the sanitizer or discover that the inlay view of the forest mimics nothing like western, linear perspective. I think of the sculptures as failed luxury objects that reveal alternative perspectives and functions in their failed practicality.
Which objects of everyday life have you chosen and why? How do they help us to define our reality?
I have mainly chosen cheap or discarded objects and wooden supports. Plastic bowls from the dollar store turned into fallen lamps; alloy door viewers turned into a knucklebone, for example. I sought to repurpose the things we can all afford and dress them-up by cutting holes or gluing them together to construct a curious object that demonstrates a new way of looking at the world or the things in it. Perhaps it’s a mockery of the Renaissance designs, but these Dollar-store decorations are not fit for Renaissance Salons but suburban saloons. Canada, like America, like most commercialized places now, is brimming with cheap factory-made things awaiting intervention. These works are an abrupt intersection of that commercial material production with the natural woods that surround my environment as a meeting place of culture and curiosity.
What are your plans? Working on new projects?
Apart from soaking in a nearly post-covid summer, I am working on finishing an updated version of my virtual “Cineorama” an online version of the video-architecture artwork I completed in 2019 that allows virtual and distant audiences to experience the project. It will be re-released alongside an accompanying journal article by Dr. Nicola Kozicharow possibly later this year; although the current version can be seen at (http://cineorama.ca/), and there is also a YouTube VR version of the interior. Updates for that will be distributed on my website and Instagram @leviglass.ca I am also working on a new video project, Envisage, re-exploring the still-life, but this doesn’t have legs worth dreaming of yet.
Legroom for Daydreaming / Levi Glass
May 21, 2021 / July 3, 2021
Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, 421 Cawston Avenue (unit 103) Kelowna, BC, V1Y 6Z1 Canada
In cover: Fallen (Commercial Lamps), 2018-2021.
Levi Glass’ Legroom for Daydreaming, May 21-July 3, 2021, at the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art.
© Riproduzione riservata
Levi Glass, Trashcan, 2’ x 2’ x 6’, 2018—2021, Courtesy of the artist
Anonymous, The Mechanical Paradox, 18th Cent., Courtesy of the artist
Levi Glass, Prie Natur, 4’ x 6’ x 3’, 2021, Courtesy of the artist
Levi Glass, Knuckelbone Oculus, 6” x 6” x 6” (Without Supporting Armature), 2018—2021, Courtesy of the artist
Levi Glass, Cineorama, 16’ x 16’ x 10’, New Media, 2019, Courtesy of the artist
Levi Glass, Self-portrait, Courtesy of the artist