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Things of Desire: Issue #10, October 23, 2008


By Mike Landry

After making a name for himself with his video work, Collin Zipp is taking breaking a break. He had been editing something on his computer a few months ago and was getting a nasty headache. So he went out to his garage, picked some old wood and started building.

The result ended up being his first non-video exhibition, Surfacing. For the exhibition, Zipp has compiled the products of the all ideas that had been popping into his head recently. Surfacing will include sculpture, painting and collage.

"I'm kind of making a leap away from my comfortable area, and jumping into some new work," says Zipp. "I'm pretty pumped about it."

Zipp is still using the ideas of deconstruction and environment he explored in his landscape video works, where he would damage the raw video and then highlight those damages when digitally capturing them. His new work continues his path of destruction and augmentation, but deals primarily with the idea of the gallery space.

He had been a lot of contract work in galleries installing and tearing down work. He couldn't believe how wasteful galleries could be, throwing out piles of drywall, plywood and 2x4s.

As a result his tiny sculptures are scale models of galleries with the floors ripping up and the walls falling apart. The frames for his digital collages are all made from reclaimed gallery wood. And his paintings are the same colour as the gallery wall but protruding an inch from the wall to make it seem like the wall has been digitally altered.

Although the work was exciting to do, it also presented a challenge for the artist who was used to working with a computer.

"There's no Ctrl+Z to undo something, like on the computer, I'm just taking that leap breaking something knowing it's going to stay like that or rebuilding it. I found that really liberating as well in the end."

Zipp also found the work to be more real. He was getting too comfortable with video. Having a single sculpture rather than a DVD that could be burned an infinite amount of times made him about his art differently and the value of it.

Zipp hasn't abandoned video, though. He's looking to getting back to his computer, and is using this experience to work on devising more installation-based work. He's also looking forward to turning his lens towards the interior architectures he's exploring in Sufacing.

"It's almost like I've come full circle after this show in a way. I almost view a lot of these little things I'm doing now as story boards, because I don't really draw. It's my way of getting video ideas out."

Mike Landry is the editor of Things of Desire ( Things of Desire is a web-based news digest updated every Thursday with the cream of the crop from galleries across Canada. Landry claims himself "a schmuck with little to no knowledge in art history, and way too much knowledge in journalism."

The Original Article by Mike Landry in Things of Desire