Canadian Art - - Spotlight -

“I’m in­ter­ested in re­spond­ing to gallery ar­chi­tec­ture, to make us more aware of it,” says Win­nipeg-based artist Steven Ley­den Cochrane. “But I’m also draw­ing on home decor. I’m in­ves­ti­gat­ing how the place­ment and ar­range­ment of ob­jects gives us cues for how to nav­i­gate a space and what its pur­pose might be.” Cochrane per­forms spa­tial dis­place­ments and dis­rup­tions within the gallery, of­ten su­per­im­pos­ing do­mes­tic and gar­den mo­tifs rem­i­nis­cent of his home city of Tampa, Florida. His mul­ti­part in­ves­ti­ga­tions of con­crete screen walls, a com­mon land­scap­ing ma­te­rial in subur­ban Florida, have been re­cently ex­hib­ited in dif­fer­ent con­fig­u­ra­tions at Truck in Cal­gary and Neg­a­tive Space in Win­nipeg. Cochrane ex­plores the screen wall from mem­ory and feeds these rec­ol­lec­tions into soft­ware that in­ter­po­lates and scram­bles their dec­o­ra­tive mo­tifs, cre­at­ing skewed de­signs that he casts in con­crete, cuts in foam and rein­ter­prets through print­mak­ing, pho­tograms and video. In a re­cent show at the RAW: Gallery of Ar­chi­tec­ture and De­sign, Cochrane pre­sented a se­ries of con­crete screen walls in a gallery painted green-screen green, which he livestreamed with a chroma key re­place­ment within the ex­hi­bi­tion: “Al­though it doesn’t look like it, I’m re­ally in­debted to the work of first-gen­er­a­tion in­sti­tu­tional cri­tique artists, but now, 50 years on, I feel that I can de­ploy these ges­tures a lit­tle more play­fully. I like to play with the idea of the gallery be­ing this mag­i­cal, ‘neutral’ space that can be­come any­thing. I like to ex­plore it, though fun­da­men­tally I’m crit­i­cal of it.”

Steven Ley­den Cochrane Screen Wall (de­tail) 2015 Mixed-me­dia in­stal­la­tion Di­men­sions vari­able

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