July 8, 2014 – The Art Gallery of Hamilton is continuing its centennial celebrations with the
opening of the highly innovative interactive video installation, Jenn E. Norton: Dredging a
Wake. The work was commissioned by the AGH through the Interactive Digital Media Incubator
program. It will remain on view until January 4, 2015.
Curated by Melissa Bennett, AGH Curator of Contemporary Art, Dredging a Wake includes
three installation works made up of video art, projection and sculpture. Each piece invites
immersion, whether through the physical space of the installation or the projections that
surround the viewer.
“Through the commission and presentation of Jenn E. Norton: Dredging a Wake, the Art Gallery
of Hamilton is once again demonstrating its commitment to nurturing and advancing new art,”
said Louise Dompierre, AGH President and CEO. “We are especially pleased to mount this
exhibition during the Gallery’s centennial celebration.”
At the heart of the exhibition is the notion that information is increasingly unwieldy, as we have
stored our important data, documents and pictures on so many different media throughout the
past century. From filing cabinets to cloud computing, we have been saving our precious
materials in immaterial ways. Playful yet ominous, the artworks refer to a dark abyss,
referencing cyclones, sinkholes, and black holes, as metaphors for the unknowns of changing
“Jenn E. Norton provides us with a magical exploration of this issue of morphing archives,” said
Melissa Bennett, AGH Curator of Contemporary Art. “The manner of her exploration, which is
manifest in disorienting wizardly displays of lights, sounds and images, directly reflects the
issues of contemporary archives, which are also mystifying.”
Precipice is a circular room that visitors can enter to become surrounded by projections of
swirling water and a virtual swimmer, who navigates a vitreous chasm, seemingly in search of
something. Doline is a sculptural installation of office fixtures seemingly submerged in the floor,
which slowly rotate to the soundtrack of people remembering their dreams about falling.
Doldrums uses 3D glasses, multiple projections and mirrors, furthering a sense of disorientation
while exploring the role we all play in this era of the digital abyss.
“In many ways, information represents a translated self, a trail of actions, and an archive of
events,” said Jenn E. Norton. “As information is archived, as its physical body decays, it
morphs into invisible matter to be stored, housed and moved in a conduit. How do we hold onto
the intangible, how do we see the invisible? This exhibition aims to explore these questions.”
Jenn E. Norton is an early career artist based in Guelph. This is her first major exhibition in a
public gallery. The Interactive Digital Media Incubator program at the Art Gallery of Hamilton
was made possible with the generous support of the Government of Ontario through the
Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the Museums and Technology Fund.
A public reception for this exhibition, with the artist in attendance, will be held on Sunday
November 2, as part of the opening of the Fall exhibition season.
About the Art Gallery of Hamilton
The Art Gallery of Hamilton is the largest independent public gallery in Ontario, Canada. The
AGH is regarded as a leader in contemporary art and digital media and presents acclaimed
contemporary exhibition programmes. The Gallery’s permanent collection of contemporary
works numbers more than 2,000 objects. Also renowned for its programming of 19th-century
European and historic Canadian art, its total permanent collection exceeds 10,000 works. The
AGH is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art and is celebrated for
its exceptional exhibitions and outstanding programming that engage people of all ages.