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Burrard Arts Foundation
BAF Gallery, 108 East Broadway (Ground Floor), Vancouver, British Columbia V5T 1V9
BAF’s latest artist-in-residence, Matthew Talbot-Kelly, works according to a logic of contradictions, fusing unlikely elements within his art practice—one that he describes as rooted in an absurdist, Dadaist, and collage-inspired sensibility. Often combining a hands-on engagement with everyday materials and a skilled employment of digital media (iOS apps, VR, AR, Arduinos etc.), he creates dense, multilayered installations, assemblage and new media works. This hybrid low-tech/high-tech approach vividly reflects his studies in architecture and personal interest in house-building, as well as his professional expertise working in animation and film.
For his new exhibition titled The (n)Atrocity Exhibition — a house crash for the rest of us at BAF, Talbot-Kelly deconstructs the house as an archetypal architectural object. By breaking down the domestic site into its basic building blocks—walls, doors, windows, and floorboards—Talbot-Kelly exposes the house as the hard “skin” between the inner space and the outer world. Foraging old planks of wood from construction sites, household fragments and the random flotsam and jetsam washed up on beaches, Talbot-Kelly reconfigures these pieces into a rough disoriented façade, with its surface charred to a black crust. He describes this installation as “a poised ‘house crash’—simultaneously constructing/destructing.” This volatile image of an explosion or collision poised in space generates a disquieting atmosphere of violence, disorientation, and vulnerability.
Supplementing the rich narrative potential of this epic mise-en-scène is an interactive augmented reality (AR) component made available via suspended tablets, where other stories are digitally layered onto his deconstructed house. This AR layer extends the physical wall into an endless labyrinth beyond the interior surfaces of the gallery space: a digital palimpsest of past, present, and future where intermittent instances of play, absurdity, memory, nostalgia, and reflection arise.