Quiet Space

The Unending Silence of Space Wants Us to Pause

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, sometimes it’s best to take a moment for yourself. To some, that might mean getting a coffee in the middle of the day, or doing nothing for an afternoon without feeling guilty about it.

Jessica Fahey has a different plan. In The Unending Silence of Space, which she curates, Fahey hopes to “silence the noise of our minds.”

Hosted at Eastern Bloc, the Mile End’s self-styled “Centre for New Media and Interdisciplinary Art,” the exhibit takes place inside a room meant to deprive viewers of their senses.

With no outside light or sound, it sparks an intimate connection between viewer and art, making for a very different type of gallery experience.

“I’m hoping that [viewers] are able to take a little repose in the room. It’s very calming. You want to just take time, close the door behind you, [and experience the] unconstrained energy that guides and sways,” said Fahey of the unorthodox setting.

“I want people to be in there, be in these very immersive video experiences and be guided by the videos and the energy that is in the videos.”

The multi-channel silent video installation may sound complex, but it’s not meant to be intimidating. Ralitsa Doncheva’s film, Still Moving, and Simon Grenier-Poirier’s piece, Le ciel nerchi, la mer trobla, will play intermittently, presented on loop between two screens in the tiny 4’ by 11’ room.

“When you’re in the room [the films are] projected simultaneously and in sync on two different walls. [They’re] all around you,” said Fahey. “The room itself is really small, so you can kind of just stand back and be surrounded by films. The two videos play off each other really beautifully.”

Doncheva’s film is a reflection on her experience as a Bulgarian immigrant in Canada, focusing on what Fahey describes as a transformation of expertly arranged found footage of everything from birds flying to schoolchildren singing.

Somewhat contrarily, Grenier-Poirier’s piece is a mock scientific movie focused on the natural phenomenon of erosion on natural elements.

“It’s wind, sand, and water taken out of context in such a close-up manner that it sort of de-contextualizes the process of erosion,” said Fahey. “There are these grains of sand or these drops of water and they’re sort of swirling in space. It’s a micro-examination of nature and natural processes.”

A third piece, which is not in the dark room but will be displayed in the hallway on a flatscreen TV, is an endurance-performance piece involving the testing of the physical and mental strength of the artist, Janick Burn.

The three pieces are very different in theme, but they are brought together by one common factor—silence.

“There’s a beautiful, soundless exchange that pulls together all the different rhythms of the videos,” said Fahey. “When I saw these three pieces it was very clear that they would work together extremely well.”

Eastern Bloc (7240 Clark St.) / March 2 to 15 Vernissage / March 6 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Exhibit Webpage

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