Strata #4, 2011
two-channel HD video, stereo sound, computer
5 min 4 sec loop
dimensions variable
Edition of 3, 1 AP

Original masterpieces and collections become raw canvas in Quayola’s work, as he anchors a video-based exploration in a conversation about archives, collage, intellectual property and the appreciation of an object. In an age of the Google Art Project, which offers unprecedented access to the literal surface of a painting, Quayola handles the time we spend looking at art as a plastic artifact, something to be sculpted and suspended. The gaze is a place where the logic of a picture unfolds, seemingly excavated from beneath the image.

Especially in "Strata" series, Quayola locates this practice within the archaeological process of layering or stratification. "Strata #4" was originally commissioned as a multi-channel immersive video-installation for the Palais de Beaux Arts in Lille, France, where it debuted in October 2011. The subjects of this work are four grand altarpieces by Anton Van Dyke and Peter Paul Ruebens in the museum’s Flemish collection: Van Dyck’s "Christ on the Cross" (1628) and Rubens’ "Martyrdom of St. Catherine" (1615), "The Ecstasy of Mary Magdalene" (1619) and "The Descent from the Cross" (1617). " "Strata #4" is a study of the relationship between classical figuration and abstraction," says Quayola. "It is based on universal rules of beauty and perfection. The movement on-screen creates a dialog between two eras, two dimensions."

The two-channel version further compresses its subjects, presenting two temporal halves of the composition side by side.

Sound design by Matthias Kispert.

Please note this is an excerpt.

Video courtesy of the artist and bitforms gallery nyc.

To learn more about Quayola's work, please visit:

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