Dylan Cram

The Filmic Eye

The Filmic Eye examines visual culture in two specific ways. First, it borrows the tradition of portraiture as a means to examine the ongoing pageant of personhood unfolding in contemporary culture. The presentation of a person, or type of person can be endlessly fascinating and overtly boring. The genre is alternatingly tired and reinvigorated. Second, the work analyzes how narrative and film guide our cultural obsession through the surrogate of acted roles. The transference of personal ideals onto fictional characters and the cultural or stylistic echoes of stardom back onto the individual, provide a lens through which personhood can be laid bare.

As a series, the paintings in The Filmic Eye have a quieting effect. Each image is pulled from its place within a broader, and usually badly written narrative, and placed on a canvas alone, without subtext. The figures exist in a liminal space between dialogue, in a nondescript setting, isolated from any supporting actors. Even though details have been removed, something like a narrative artifact remains.

Portraiture is often understood as the attempt to portray a subject, an essence, a likeness, or even the internal life of a sitter; a sum-total that is more than the accumulation of strokes of paint on a flat surface. While the paintings in this series may resemble portraiture, conceptually they are very much in opposition to it. Rather than the classical subject of painting, the work in this exhibition refers to a mediated subject that exists within our cultural tendency to tell ourselves stories about the self.

Opening night is Friday, October 6 from 7 – 9 p.m. and the show continues every Saturday and Sunday, from October 2 – 22. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The artist will be giving a talk on Saturday, October 21 at 12 p.m. (noon). Attend in person or online.

About the Artist

Dylan Cram graduated with a Diploma in Fine Arts from Victoria College of Art in 2000 and holds a BFA in Photography with Great Distinction from Concordia University (2008). In 2017, he completed an MFA cum laude in the Media, Art and Design course at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. To date, he has participated in numerous local and international exhibitions and residencies and his work is part of numerous private collections. He is currently represented by Gallery Merrick in Victoria, B.C.

Visit Dylan’s website or Instagram for more information about the artist and his work.

Xchanges gratefully acknowledges the support of the Province of British Columbia and the Capital Regional District for our gallery programs.

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